Apple: U.S. government’s e-book antitrust lawsuit ‘is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law’

“Apple Inc is rejecting charges that it conspired to fix prices of electronic books, calling the U.S. government’s antitrust lawsuit a ‘fundamentally flawed’ endeavor that could discourage competition and harm consumers,” Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters. “The Justice Department accused Apple in April of colluding with five publishers to boost e-book prices in early 2010, as the Silicon Valley giant was launching its popular iPad tablet. Amazon, which makes the Kindle e-reader, had long sold e-books for as little as $9.99. The government complaint quoted Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs as wanting to offer publishers a means to boost prices, and “create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.”

“In a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan late Tuesday, Apple said it has not conspired with anyone or fixed prices for e-books in an effort to thwart Amazon.com Inc’s dominance of that fast-growing market,” Stempel reports. “Apple argued that its foray into e-books has actually fueled demand for e-books by forcing Amazon and rivals, including Barnes & Noble Inc, to compete more aggressively, including by upgrading e-reader technology. ‘Apple’s entry into e-book distribution is classic pro competitive conduct’ that created competition where none existed, Apple said in its court papers.”

Stempel reports, “‘For Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market,’ it added. ‘The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.’ Apple also denied that the government “accurately characterized” the comment attributed to Jobs.”

Read more in the full article here.

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

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Video: Steve Jobs predicted or knew of publisher revolt – May 17, 2012
Federal Judge rejects Apple and publishers’ attempt to dismiss civil case alleging e-book price-fixing – May 15, 2012
Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book agency model; 17 more states join class action suit – May 15, 2012
Apple vs. Amazon: Who’s really fixing eBook prices? – April 17, 2012
Apple: U.S. DOJ’s accusation of collusion against iBookstore is simply not true – April 12, 2012
Apple not likely to be a loser in legal fight over eBooks – April 12, 2012
16 U.S. states join DOJ’s eBook antitrust action against Apple, publishers – April 12, 2012
Australian gov’t considers suing Apple, five major publishers over eBook pricing – April 12, 2012
DOJ’s panties in a bunch over Apple and eBooks, but what about Amazon? – April 12, 2012
Antitrust experts: Apple likely to beat U.S. DOJ, win its eBook lawsuit – April 12, 2012
Why the market shrugged off the Apple antitrust suit – April 11, 2012
What’s wrong with the U.S. DOJ? – April 11, 2012
Macmillan CEO blasts U.S. DOJ; gov’t on verge of killing real competition for appearance of competition – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ hits Apple, major publishers with antitrust lawsuit, alleges collusion on eBook prices – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ may sue Apple over ebook price-fixing as early as today, sources say – April 11, 2012

38 Comments

  1. All Apple has to do is hire a few Black Panther members and union thugs to receive Eric Holder’s governmental stamp of approval. Cheaper that hiring lawyers.

      1. Yeah, let’s bring back the Corporate Oligarchy butt licking ReTardlicans, the people who brought us the ongoing worldwide economic depression, corporate welfare, corporate bailouts, two pointless wars of choice, feed-the-rich and kill-the-poor, as well as plentiful psychopathic and inept concepts like ‘Starve The Beast’.

        Starve The Beast @Wikipedia

        Result: Two worthless political parties that busily demolish everything good in the USA through plain old greed, stubborn ignorance and stupidity. Gee thanks, PoliTards.

  2. If someone offers competition to a monopoly that dumps ebooks below cost to drive competitors out….

    …IT’S NOT PRICE FIXING YOU DUMBASSES AT THE DOJackasses

    1. They are cued and rather than merely chiming in with a wide anti government stance there’s also the anti-democrat and liberal-means-evil bit as well. Funny that how the narrow minded can’t believe that you can be liberal, democrat, and disagree with certain government actions.

      1. Hell, the narrow minded can’t even accept a conservative that is guided by facts and data when the facts run counter to their dogma. Or even accept facts that run counter to their talking points (look at the facts concerning growth in Government spending and debt since 1980, or the actions of conservative administrations faced with real problems, like paying for WW2 and Korea that lead to the Eisenhower-era income tax rates or Nixons Government price controls on gasoline after the 1974 Arab oil embargo). Forcing conservatives to address facts gives you a 50/50 chance of seeing their heads explode or smelling them shit themselves.

  3. “For Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market,” it added. “The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.”

    1. Most criminal actions are discovered in hindsight. Not that I in any way agree with the DoJ actions here. It’s a mindless waste of time and fundamentally flawed, IMHO.

  4. I can vaguely remember when “liberals” protested against the government and railed against government intrusion into their lives. When the “liberals” became the defenders of government and proponents of the nanny state, they lost their way.

    Government, especially centralized government, is an inefficient, bloated mess that tends to corrupt. The less of it, the better.

    Far less federal power and more to the states who are closer to their constituents and can better determine what’s needed – that’s the better way to go.

    Government is not your mommy. Government is not Robin Hood.

    Robin Hood was a thief, not a hero.

    1. Considering that Prince John was a tyrant and dictator, I am sure that the fathers of your Country would have considered Robin Hood to be a patriot.

      1. You know what, I take back that Robin Hood statement.

        Robin Hood didn’t really steal from the rich to give to the poor, he took from the tax collector and returned to the people their own money. He also fought an unconstitutional government that had far overstepped its authority.

        So, I wish the people in government were more like Robin Hood. I wish the people in U.S. government realized exactly whose money it is they have amassed and spend it wisely or just give it back (or don’t even take it in the first place) and I wish they’d respect and follow the U.S. constitution instead of wiping their feet on it.

    2. I don’t like “unwarranted” government intrusion into the lives of individual Americans. The last time I checked, neither Apple nor the Big 6 media conglomerates (or their publishing subsidiaries named in the suit) were individuals, and I know that Holtzbrinck certainly isn’t American.

      Oh, that’s right you’re one of those radicals, like Mitt Romney, who thinks, “corporations are people.”

  5. 1. The government’s complaint is obviously prompted by Amazon, which is not exactly a bit player.
    2. It’s not just the Federal Department of Justice, it’s also 31 state attorney generals, many like Texas, that are Republican run.
    3. However noble the Apple’s original goal, or new its entrance to the market was, Apple still colluded with the book publishers to raise consumer prices, which is illegal and has been for years because it distorts the market.

    If, in his discussions with publishers Jobs had said, “$4.99 to $19.99”, then the possibility would have existed of lowering prices and there would be no suit. Let’s be honest, the latest Star Trek or Star Wars covering the Sith attack on Starbase 299 isn’t worth more than four or five bucks, but that technical manual explaining how to repair widget supercoolers might be worth $99.

    1. Prove that Apple colluded with the publishers.

      We’ll wait.

      You now have the same problem as the DOJ which is currently headed by an absolute moron who was installed by an empty suited amateur:

      1. The collusion has actually been well-documented by MDN. Just click the Related Articles links above. The fact that numerous publishers settled, and quickly, means that legally that the government has a strong case. Whether the collusion ultimately applies to Apple, or just the publishers, remains to be seen.

        You seem to be so blinded by the fact that the President and Attorney General are black, and I’m judging that from your screen name and other posts) that you’re ignoring the fact that 33 state Attorneys General (inc. D.C. & Puerto Rico) also think there’s a strong case to be had. Hell the Attorneys General of 21 of those 33 states, Luther Strange (AL), Michael Geraghty (AK), Tom Horne (AZ), Lawrence Wasden (ID), Greg Zoeller (IN), Tom Miller (IA), Derek Schmidt (KS), Buddy Caldwell (LA), Bill Schuette (MI), Chris Koster (MO), Jon Bruning (NE), Wayne Stenehjem (ND), Mike DeWine (OH), Linda L. Kelly (PA), Guillermo Somoza (PR), Marty Jackley (SD), Robert E. Cooper, Jr. (TN), Greg Abbott (TX), Mark Shurtleff (UT), Ken Cuccinelli (VA), and J. B. Van Hollen (WI) are Republicans.

        If you took off your red-colored glasses then you’d actually see that many of these players are on your team.

        1. Without collusion, their industry would collapse. Think of it as Amazon paying its workers below minimum wage. Price-fixing makes sense if the publishers were actually making money. But they weren’t. They feared for the future of their industry until iOS came along. All this investigation does is put Amazon in a stronger monopoly position.

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