Apple’s online marketplace would become a “toxic” mess if the iPhone maker were forced to allow third-party apps without reviewing them, chief executive Tim Cook told a high-stakes trial Friday challenging the company’s tight contCook, the last scheduled witness in the case brought by Fortnite maker Epic Games, offered a robust defence of Apple’s procedures for reviewing and approving all the apps it offers for iPhone and iPad users.

“We could no longer make the promise… of privacy, safety and security,” without full control of the marketplace, Cook said under questioning from Apple attorney Veronica Moye in federal court in California.

Cook said Apple’s review process helps keep out malicious software and other problematic apps, helping create a safe place for consumers.

Without this review, the online marketplace “would become a toxic kind of mess,” he said.rol of its platform.

“It would also be terrible for the developer, because the developer depends on the store being a safe and trusted place.”

Cook’s testimony caps a high-profile trial which opened earlier this month in which Apple is accused of abusing a monopoly on its marketplace by creating a “walled garden” that squeezes app makers.

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