(Bloomberg) – A senior Apple Inc. executive who runs daily operations in the App Store will play security with Epic Games Inc. during the company’s investigation Thursday.
Epic, the creator of Fortnight, will be the first Apple employee to take a witness stand, trying to convince a federal judge that the market for apps running on hundreds of millions of iPhones is running like a monopoly. Tristan Cosminka, Apple’s senior director in charge of the application review process, will be called to the position later.
Despite having a tenure with Apple for nearly 20 years and being in charge of a business estimated to generate more than $ 20 billion a year, Fischer has a low profile: he does not appear on Apple’s website, he does not appear on Apple’s product launch events and he rarely speaks publicly. He reports to the company’s top App Store manager, Bill Schiller, who is expected to be called as a witness later in the trial, along with CEO Tim Cook.
According to court lawsuits, Fischer may be questioned by Epic attorneys about the App Store business strategy, finances, policies and practices and market power of iOS devices. Cosminka, who reports to Apple’s Developer Relations head, will be asked about the application review process and the App Store curation.
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Tested in Auckland, California, Apple faces a setback – with billions of dollars in revenue – its standard App Store fees of 30% from global regulators and some app developers, and other policies are unfair and self-serving.
Fighting with Epic erupted in August, when the game maker told customers to change Apple’s in-app purchasing system on its own, waiving Apple’s commissions from Fortnight’s add-ons. Apple later cut off access to more than a billion customers and removed the game.
Apple vehemently denies abusing its market power, calling Epic Legal Compete a “fundamental attack” on a business model, benefiting both developers and consumers.
During the first three days of the trial, Epic was witnessed by its CEO, Tim Sweeney, and other executives of the game maker, as the App Store was like a “wall garden” that left users and developers “stuck” in a reactionary market.
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Epic has also called on executives of other companies with gaming businesses, including Microsoft Corp and Nvidia Corp, to show that they are governed by strict App Store rules.
Apple used the cross-examination of its witnesses to try to undermine their credibility and provoke holes in the epic’s hopeless claims.
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