CARY – A federal judge has ordered Apple CEO Tim Cook sit for a seven-hour deposition in the legal battle between the technology giant and Cary-based Epic Games. Apple had fought against a sit-down.

“The facts of the case go way beyond the historical facts of what happened and when … there is really no one like Apple’s CEO who can testify about how Apple views competition in these various markets that are core to its business model,” said US Magistrate Thomas Hixon on Friday.

Epic suited Apple – a longtime business partner – last summer after Apple banned Epic and its globally popular Fortnite game from its app store. Apple countersued, saying Epic violated conractural agreements by coming up with a means of bypassing Apple’s system for required fees associated with in-app purchases. Apple called the fees a “tax.”

In December, the judge ruled Cook would have to be deposed.

“The Apple versus Epic lawsuit continues as publicly filed court documents tell us a bit more about the upcoming trial. Epic wants Apple to produce extensive documentation surrounding the App Store and its operations, but there has been some deliberation as to how extensive this data needs to be, and who will present it,” Apple Insider reported. 

The case has mushroomed since with Epic filing legal actions in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Apple recently scored a victory when three executives at Epic were ordered to provide additional information.

Now Cook must sit for a legal grilling, according to legal news site Law360.

Also the judge ruled out an Apple request for documents from Samsung related to Fortnite distribution, Law360 noted.

The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in May.

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