Four-hour testimony in ebook suit will have Apple boss Tim Cook’s participation

Apple’s head Tim Cook has been ordered to testify before the court in regard with an ebook suit. He is supposed to sit for a deposition in the US government’s lawsuit against the company over alleged price-fixing in the e-book market.

cook -jobsUS District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan granted the Justice Department’s request to compel Cook to testify for four hours in the lawsuit, which accuses Apple of conspiring with five publishers to raise ebook prices.

Fighting against this lawsuit, Apple had already quoted back that Cook’s testimony would be “cumulative and duplicative” since the government had already deposed 11 other executives at the iPad maker.

Filed in April 2012 at the US District Court in New York, Apple is the only remaining defendant in this lawsuit. Meanwhile, the 5 publishers are Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, Hachette Book Group Inc and MacMillan and all of them have already settled.

The last publisher to settle was Macmillan in February. The government is not requesting damages but is seeking a finding that Apple violated antitrust law. It is also seeking an order blocking Apple from engaging in similar conduct.

For the law nerds among you, the case is United States vs Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-02826. New York Lawyer Lawrence Buterman said on a teleconference call that Cook had submitted a written declaration in the case in which he said he had played no “meaningful role” in the events at issue.

The Justice Department wants to know what Cook ‘means by his qualifier’ and the government believes it is likely, because of Cook’s “position and closeness” with Jobs, that they had private conversations about e-books.

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