Judge rules Apple CEO Tim Cook must testify in ebook antitrust case

Apple (s AAPL) CEO Tim Cook will have to testify in the the Department of Justice’s ebook antitrust case, federal judge Denise Cote ruled Wednesday, according to a report in Reuters.

Apple hadn’t wanted Cook to testify, writing in a letter to the court on Monday (PDF) that the government’s original complaint didn’t mention him (it only refers to former CEO Steve Jobs) and that Cook — who was previously the company’s chief operating officer — doesn’t possess any “unique knowledge about Apple’s decision to enter the ebooks market and recalls no relevant ‘private conversations’ with Mr. Jobs.”

However, according to Reuters, Judge Cote said in a teleconference Wednesday that because of Jobs’ death, “I think the government is entitled to take testimony from high-level executives within Apple about topics relevant to the government case.” Court documents supporting her decision have not yet been posted to PACER.

The DOJ sued Apple and five book publishers last April for allegedly conspiring to set ebook prices. All five publishers in the case have settled.