In the ongoing lawsuit, a number of emails were reviewed to get to the bottom of whether there are developers who get benefits over others.
Emails under the microscope
During the testimony of App Store Director Matt Fischer on Thursday, Fischer was asked about an e-mail exchange with "Director of Program Management" Cindy Lin at Apple.
The dialogue between the two started with a message from Fischer, to Lin, about a tweet regarding the automatic cancellation of App Store subscriptions. Fischer asked how Hulu could "switch people from IAP (In-App Payment) to Hulu billing", adding that App Store manager Phil Schiller saw the tweet and "wanted to know what's going on."
The exchange between the two is part of the documentation for the trial and is published on Scribd.
In response, Lin said that Hulu is part of a set of developers with access to a special "refund and cancellation feature".
"Hulu is part of the group of approved developers with access to subscription termination/refund API," wrote Lin. "Back in 2015, they used this to enable instant upgrades using a two-family setup, before we had a built-in subscription upgrade/downgrade."
During Fischer's testimony, he was asked if Apple gives special access to features to some developers and not others. To this, Fischer said no, but added that Apple sometimes tests features with a small group of developers before rolling it out to everyone.
During Fischer's time in the witness box, he was asked for an email describing Fischer as someone who "feels strongly" for not presenting competitors to Apple's own apps in the App Store. The App Store director denied the allegation, saying the person who made the comment was misinformed.
"We've been marketing apps that are competitive with Apple apps since before I joined the App Store team in 2010, and we continue to not only distribute but to present and market apps that are competitive apps in the store," said Fischer.
Fischer also talked about the collaboration between Epic Games and Apple before the disagreement over "Fortnite" started, and gave us an example of a situation where Epic Games asked Apple to change the policy to allow gifts in apps. Apple complied with Epic's request and did so, then made this change available to all developers.
Fischer also noted that Apple "dropped everything we did and mustered the troops" to promote the Travis Scott concert in "Fortnite," claiming it was a "very cool concept."