On Friday, Apple CEO Tim Cook will make his first-ever courtroom appearance and testify in an antitrust lawsuit involving the tech giant and Epic Games, in what others call the industry’s “David vs. Goliath.”
Cook will appear to defend Apple as the case winds down. It began at federal court in California earlier this week.
The case revolves around Epic’s massively popular game Fortnite. Despite its popularity, Apple removed Fortnite from its app store last year for violating digital payment laws.
According to Epic, Apple charges up to 30% for in-app transactions on Apple devices and has monopolistic influence over the market. Epic claims that this authority often pressures software developers to enter into unequal negotiations in order to gain access to millions of iPhone and iPad customers.
Apple counters that Epic Games will sell its apps through a variety of other app stores.
According to industry insiders, Apple is playing the roles of Goliath and Epic David in this scenario.
“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,” Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a former Federal Trade Commission attorney, told The Wall Street Journal.
Several executives on both sides, including former Apple marketing director Phil Schiller, Apple tech chief Craig Federighi, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, have also spoken in the civil lawsuit.
Cook has spoken to the United States Congress about Apple’s corporate activities, but he has never been in federal court. According to several observers, Cook’s testimony on Friday will set the stage for Apple’s battle against may antitrust complaints.