Apple CEO Tim Cook has been practicing for hours ahead of taking witness stand in the Epic Games v. Apple trial that, regardless of the verdict, could prove to be one of the most consequential for Apple as it faces accusations it denies of abusing its market power.
[Cook] never appeared on a witness stand in a trial where his words could sway a judge for or against the company.
He is expected to seek to bolster Apple’s argument that it isn’t a monopoly in a case that threatens to unravel its control over the App Store, a key part of Apple’s services business that generated almost $54 billion last year.
“Tim Cook’s going to have to show that the reason they had these fees was not to maintain their dominance or squeeze money out of somebody, but rather, it was critical to maintaining a business and there’s nothing unfair about it,” said Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a former lawyer with the Federal Trade Commission who isn’t involved in the case but follows it closely. The risk, however, is saying something that “lives on in infamy,” he added.
Apple’s former marketing chief Phil Schiller, now a company fellow, and Craig Federighi, head of software, are likely witnesses this week while Mr. Cook, who is scheduled to be on the stand for a total of 100 minutes, is expected toward the end of the week or early next week, as the trial in Oakland, Calif., looks to wrap up.
[Epic Games CEO Tim] Sweeney’s performance during the course of two days was mostly subdued. Those dialing into the courtroom, because Covid-19 safety precautions kept them out, had trouble hearing him as he spoke softly — even the judge sitting near him asked him to repeat things a few times.
“I’m pretty sure Apple feels pretty happy,” said David Reichenberg, an antitrust lawyer, who isn’t involved in the case but listened to Mr. Sweeney’s performance. “He didn’t seem to come off as confident.”
MacDailyNews Take: The fact is that Apple has no monopoly in smartphones, or in any other market, so Apple is incapable of committing monopoly abuse – as Tim Cook is likely to state plainly in the Epic Games v. Apple trial.
• Android: 72.19%
• iOS: 27.00%
I don’t think anybody reasonable is going to come to the conclusion that Apple is a monopoly. Our share is much more modest. We don’t have a dominant position in any market… We are not a monopoly. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, June 2019