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TOUGH COOK-IE

The court document that shows how Tim Cook does business

Apple CEO Tim Cook
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Hard negotiator
This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a notoriously tough operations executive. He was, of course, the company’s chief operating officer for years, and Apple’s market-leading hardware execution, efficiency, and supply chain all prove his worth. “Tim’s a tough negotiator,” AT&T Mobility chief Glenn Lurie said in a recent Businessweek story.

Now we have evidence.

What’s it like doing business with Tim Cook? It’s rare the public gets to see terms of an actual contract with Apple. But thanks to the bankruptcy case for GT Advanced Technologies—which was working on a sapphire production business with Apple that didn’t work out—here’s a good look.

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt runs through some of the supposed one-sided terms of Apple’s deal with GTAT, including how the partnership was structured, a non-compete clause, and the various things that required getting consent from Apple first. (The filing is available here as a PDF.)

But this section of testimony speaks to the level of detail—and weight—of what it’s like when Apple wants to rely on you.

Oh, and if any of these NDA-sealed details leak, there’s a $50 million confidentiality penalty!

An Apple rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But as Elmer-DeWitt notes, the company has recently pledged to “continue evaluating GTAT’s progress on larger sapphire boule development,” and to help bankruptcy-affected employees find new jobs.

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