Judge Denise Cote has granted the Justice Department's request to make Apple CEO Tim Cook sit for a deposition in an ongoing ebook price-fixing lawsuit. The suit originally involved Apple and five major US publishers, all of whom were accused of collaborating to keep prices artificially high. Now, Apple remains the only party that's refused to settle, with a trial currently set for June. If found guilty, Apple faces an injunction against similar conduct going forward, which could potentially hamper future deals.
Apple attempted to block Cook's deposition on the grounds that it wasn't necessary since 11 other executives had already testified. The court, however, determined that he likely had information about both Apple's entry into the ebook market and relevant conversations with Steve Jobs. Cote said that the impossibility of requiring Jobs himself to testify justified asking other high-level executives to help fill the gap. Cook, who stepped up as CEO in 2011, is not personally implicated in helping to organize the alleged price-fixing: the Justice Department has suggested that iTunes head Eddy Cue helped manage publisher meetings, with Jobs putting his weight behind negotiations.