U.S. vs. Apple resumed in New York Monday after a three-day break,” Laura Hazard Owen reports for paidContent. “Amazon executives, plus Google’s Tom Turvey, had testified Thursday; Monday brought testimony from HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray and Macmillan CEO John Sargent, both appearing as government witnesses.”

“The day ‘provided more examples that publishing CEO’s are not necessarily very helpful or illuminating witnesses for the government,’ Publishers Marketplace notes. HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray said without pressure from News Corp executives (as a reminder, News Corp is the parent company of HarperCollins), he likely would not have signed an agency agreement with Apple in January 2010 before the iBookstore launched,” Owen reports.

“One of the government exhibits was an email exchange in which News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch told Murray he wanted to ‘screw Amazon,’ after Amazon announced that it would offer authors a 70 percent royalty through Kindle Direct Publishing (essentially the same terms as an agency model),” Owen reports. “‘That move infuriated a number of publishers,’ reports Publishers Weekly, ‘including Murdoch, apparently, who saw the move as a threat from Amazon and more proof that Amazon would one day seek to woo publishers’ authors directly.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“There’s nothing unlawful about revenue sharing or most-favored-nation pricing,” L. Gordon Crovitz writes for The Wall Street Journal. “This helps explain why Apple chief executive Tim Cook calls the charges ‘bizarre’ and says, ‘We’ve done nothing wrong.'”

“As this column reported when the case was brought last year, Apple executive Eddy Cue in 2011 turned down my effort to negotiate different terms for apps by news publishers by telling me: ‘I don’t think you understand. We can’t treat newspapers or magazines any differently than we treat FarmVille.’ His point was clear: The 30% revenue-share model is how Apple does business with everyone. It is not, as the government alleges, a scheme Apple concocted to fix prices with book publishers,” Crovitz writes. “The chief executive of Simon & Schuster testified last week that during negotiations with Apple she was so taken aback by its one-size-fits-all approach that she called an executive at Paramount Pictures to confirm that the 30% commission also applied to movies. The Justice Department sued first and asked questions later.”

“This case against Apple has been a strange one from the start. Amazon had 90% of the e-book market until Apple launched the iPad. Amazon is now down to 60% market share. Isn’t antitrust law supposed to encourage competition?” Crovitz asks. “Apple’s agency model is the opposite of price fixing because it leaves prices to each publisher to decide. It only sets the share of the revenue it will take… The Apple case is Exhibit A in the case against market meddling.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote the day the DOJ filed this lawsuit, “The U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.”

Once again: Killing real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.

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