“The Department of Justice spent a little over three hours Thursday cross-examining Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue — the alleged “ringmaster” of an illegal conspiracy to raise the price of e-books — and when it was over it wasn’t clear whether they’d let their last best chance slip through their fingers or whether they never had a chance at all,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Part of the problem was that Cue established himself early on as an unusually credible witness. He was calm and unhesitant when he disagreed with the government’s assumptions,” P.E.D. reports. “He made no apology for telling the publishers in late December 2009 that for Apple to enter the e-book market all retailers — including Amazon — would have to switch from the ‘wholesale’ model (where Amazon set the prices), to the so-called ‘agency’ model (where the publishers set them). That was his plan for about two weeks until he realized in early January that it wouldn’t work.”

P.E.D. reports, “That last point may be critical.”

Tons more in the full article here.

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