An Inappropriate Judicial Question

The Apple-Epic trial has gone to the jury (in this case, the judge, the matter being a bench trial). This case centers on the level of commissions Apple charges app developers for marketing their apps in Apple’s App Store and whether those app developers can, under Apple’s rules, market their products/collect revenue for their products through other venues as well as the App Store—vis., in-app advertising.

In the course of the trial, the presiding judge—the “bench”—US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, has asked an inappropriate question.

…confronted Mr Cook [Apple CEO] with survey data that, she said, indicated that 39% of developers were either very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with Apple’s distribution services. “How is that acceptable?” she asked.

There is much to decry about Apple’s business practices, particularly with its App Store.

In particular, one would think those survey results to be unacceptable, to developers, users, even to Apple.


The question is a business matter, solely among Apple, its customer/developers, and the market in general. It is not at all a judicial matter, and it is completely out of place and inappropriate for a judge to ask in a courtroom.

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