Apple and Epic have drawn up their potential witness lists for Epic Games’ lawsuit over allegedly anti-competitive App Store practices, and it’s nearly a who’s who of the leadership at both companies — and beyond. TechCrunch and MacRumors report that Apple wants its CEO Tim Cook, software senior VP Craig Federighi, and former marketing lead Phil Schiller to testify in the case. Epic executives Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein would also be among those called to the stand, as would third-party witnesses from Facebook, Microsoft, and NVIDIA, among others. Epic wants Tim Sweeney and other staff to testify with Apple’s Eddy Cue and former iOS software chief Scott Forstall.
In a statement, Apple argued its executives would illustrate the “very positive impact” of the App Store and show that Epic violated its agreement solely for the sake of profit. It was bypassing security features to have led to less competition, not more, Apple claimed. Epic, meanwhile, said that the collective opposition to Apple’s policies had “become louder” and that it would show the need for greater competition.
The trial is due to start on May 3rd. You may see executives testify in person despite the pandemic — Judge Yvonne Gonzalez has argued that the bench trial (that is, no jury) is important enough that witnesses should appear in court.
There’s no guarantee either side will get all the witnesses they want. If even some of them appear, though, you can expect important (if not necessarily shocking) testimony during the trial. At the least, this shows that Apple and Epic are clearly confident that their executives will survive close scrutiny.