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Microsoft and Epic Games accused of potentially working together to hurt Apple

Xbox App on iPhone
Xbox App on iPhone (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Apple filed a motion to have the testimony of Microsoft's Lori Wright be deemed not credible as part of the Epic Games trial.
  • The motion also accuses Epic of "serving as a stalking horse for Microsoft."
  • Apple claims that Microsoft "shielded itself from meaningful discovery" by having Wright testify in a personal capacity.

Apple filed for a motion in the Epic Games trial asking the court to "make an adverse credibility finding" for the testimony of Microsoft's Lori Wright. The motion argues that Wright speaking in a personal capacity, rather than in an official capacity from Microsoft, shields Microsoft from "meaningful discovery." Apple also claims that Microsoft is withholding evidence that would be helpful to Apple while producing documents that aid Epic.

The preliminary statement of the motion begins by stating:

At trial, Epic presented testimony from as many witnesses associated with Microsoft as it did from Epic itself (five each). A reasonable observer might wonder whether Epic is serving as a stalking horse for Microsoft. Yet Microsoft shielded itself from meaningful discovery in this litigation by not appearing as a party or sending a corporate representative to testify. Instead, Epic called one Microsoft employee—Lori Wright—who testified in her personal capacity, as well as a series of Microsoft "consultants." See Trial Tr. 1478:11–16 (Evans), 1797:10–1801:14 (Athey), 2322:22–2325:9 (Cragg), 2554:6–2555:2 (Mickens). Yet even as to Ms. Wright, Microsoft refused to produce the documents in her personal files, including a number of documents about which she testified at trial.

Apple argues that the court should find Wright's testimony to not be credible:

Epic agrees that this Court has the authority to find Ms. Wright's testimony not to be credible. Dkt. 648 at 10. The Court should exercise that authority here, where it is undisputed that Microsoft did not produce a single document following entry of this Court's April 12 order, despite the explicit warning of the consequences of doing so.

This is the second time that Apple has filed a motion to determine Wright's testimony to not be credible.

Towards the end of the motion, Apple accuses Microsoft of potentially "using Epic as a proxy plaintiff in litigation that it refuses to prosecute in its own name."

The conclusion of the motion states that "The Court should make an adverse credibility finding as to Ms. Wright's direct examination testimony."

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

9 Comments
  • Apple: ignores the fact that Epic Games and Microsoft already have a history of working together. They have friends in each others companies. Apple turns out to be the small 'Hey you can't do that' kid in this battle.
  • I think people are making more of this than there really is to it. In any legal contest you use anything and everything at your disposal to prevail. In my opinion, that Apple would go to these lengths is more an indication that they do not view their position as being a strong one than it is anything to do with Microsoft. Although their over the top aggressive nature is probably a reflection of their actual corporate (leadership) culture, something we don't get a good view of on an average day.
  • Apple is right. So? They could have had a practice before that would not force any of their "clients" to go this far. Anyway as far as I am concerned it is Apple being accused here officially so let's wait for that and then see if Apple "accuses" anybody with anything other than in PR words. You know Apple is done when they actually valuated their market "secrests" less than the money this whole trial is about.
  • 0 F's given when it comes to Apple whining about anything.
  • Isn't that called competing in the free market?
  • Apple really is not giving up against Epic.
  • Apple reeks of desperation as they try and fight a futile battle for their unreasonable and unjustifiably high developer tax. They have never backed down in any lawsuit they have been in, but in this case no one is on their side. There is no precedent for a 30% tax on hard working people other than possibly income tax. Why do Apple think they deserve income tax level income for basic server hosting? Their "Quality Check" doesn't even work some of the time with multiple cases of malware, data siphoning or apps against their policies being removed well after they were "approved". It is worse when they give companies like Amazon a special half price developer tax but not ordinary developers. It's sickening.
  • You earn 1b, Apple takes 30%.
    Then Tax, Game Engine, Office building rental, salary, voice actors, music, office365, GitHub, VisualStudio, Adobe, Autodesk, expenses, hardware, Windows, etc, etc, etc, etc all combined, takes about 30~50% of your income depends on how good you can manage your operation. Fair.
  • Apple... sounds irrational and full of sxxt.
    Apple fan... also irrational.