Apple to DOJ: Bite me; U.S. Justice Department may regret trying to make its e-book antitrust suit stick to Apple

“I loved [perusing] U.S. v. Apple et al. for the juicy details: the 56 phone calls, the clandestine meetings in swank Manhattan eateries, the secret e-mails “double erased” to ensure they couldn’t be traced,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. “But what makes Apple’s response, filed Tuesday, such a great read is the clarity and precision with which it cuts the government’s case to shreds. At least as it applies to Apple.”

The key paragraph:

The Government starts from the false premise that an eBooks “market” was characterized by “robust price competition” prior to Apple’s entry. This ignores a simple and incontrovertible fact: before 2010, there was no real competition, there was only Amazon. At the time Apple entered the market, Amazon sold nearly nine out of every ten eBooks, and its power over price and product selection was nearly absolute. Apple’s entry spurred tremendous growth in eBook titles, range and variety of offerings, sales, and improved quality of the eBook reading experience. This is evidence of a dynamic, competitive market. These inconvenient facts are ignored in the Complaint. Instead, the Government focuses on increased prices for a handful of titles. The Complaint does not allege that all eBook prices, or even most eBook prices, increased after Apple entered the market.

P.E.D. writes, “The government’s lawyers are going to have a hard time proving that Apple violated antitrust laws because the company’s market share in the e-book business before the launch of the iPad was essentially zero.”

Much more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple: U.S. government’s e-book antitrust lawsuit ‘is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law’ – May 24, 2012
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

83 Comments

          1. No, no one talks to you Lemming – LibTurds. You are on US – Freedom – Greatness auto-destruct mode. Programmed by your Commie leaders. Liberalism and communism operate under the same play book. Google it.

            1. Tad, I’d like to compliment you on raising the level of discourse around here. I know that normally you’re happy to fling feces at people who pass your enclosure, so this is a real step up for you.

            2. Ahh clever… I see what you did there. Although Tad’s (and the others’) comments are a little out there, they do have a point, albeit they wouldn’t know how to articulate it without getting all crazy like.

              The main point being, how business unfriendly this administration (and the party) is. On the surface this seems like a BS waste of time. The US DOJ, should be high level enough to realize that this is a high profile case and proactively reach out to the public to explain its stance because right now they are looking pretty weak and the Executive leadership should be communicating this and expecting this from the DOJ.

              Instead we are lead to believe that this is just another frivolous lawsuit against a popular corporation. Shame on someone for being able to make any type of profit in this economy.

              *Please note: I do not claim the other side of the aisle would have anything better to offer. I am just observing the current administration’s performance.

            3. Business unfriendly? Really? pure contrived NONSENSE. Obama is a corporatist, war hawk just like his predecessor.

              The only possible way he appears liberal is in not aligning with the christo-fascist extreme right. In EVERY other major area he is business as usual. If you knew anything other than what your propaganda ministers told you, you would see that.

            4. liberal |ˈlib(ə)rəl|
              adjective
              1 open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values : they have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people.
              • favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms : liberal citizenship laws.
              • (in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform : a liberal democratic state.
              • ( Liberal) of or characteristic of Liberals or a Liberal Party.
              • ( Liberal) (in the UK) of or relating to the Liberal Democrat Party : the Liberal leader.
              • Theology regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change.
              2 [ attrib. ] (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.
              3 (esp. of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact : they could have given the 1968 Act a more liberal interpretation.
              4 given, used, or occurring in generous amounts : liberal amounts of wine had been consumed.
              • (of a person) giving generously : Sam was too liberal with the wine.

              communism |ˈkämyəˌnizəm| (often Communism)
              noun
              a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. See also Marxism.

            5. Tad, you’re so totally right…I Googled it and Google said Tad is correct. Thank you for that very helpful tip. All this time I’ve been wrong about it. Thanks for setting me straight.

              Wow…I know a whole lot of others that are going to feel awfully foolish once they realize Tad is right. Too bad there wasn’t an easier way for you to get your message out to the public, Tad.

      1. You want Maoists? Look up Khmer Rouge and Sendoro Illuminoso, or Shining Path. Look up ‘Killing Fields’.
        If you can actually read, you might actually learn something about what a Maoist group or government actually means.
        Look up Chairman Mao and Cultural Revolution.
        But I wouldn’t expect an ignorant prick like you, ‘real deal’, to be able to grasp just how far out you really are.
        And I’m not even American.

        1. That is what libtards want to do to all of us. It’s headed that way Horshack. Google Liberals and Democrats and Communists. They use all the same talking points and use the same manifesto, you jack ass!

          How is that Hissy Fit argument going with your fellow commie that hates your country’s traditions? You idiot.

            1. Democrats RINOS have turned the US into a crony capitalist market heading towards dictatorship.

              You would have to be blind not to notice it or lying when denying it.

      2. STFU ‘Real Deal’ tard troll and stuff your propaganda back up your hole. Let’s stick to the subject for a change. Your ReTardlican clowns have nothing better to offer than what the DemoCrap clowns have to offer.

        The ‘real deal’ is that this is yet-another indicator of tech ignorance by the Obama administration. They blew it.

        TechTardiness is rampant. It doesn’t matter which PoliTard party.

        1. Right back at you Der-ICK you Lemming.

          Talk about Trolls, look in the mirror and that blank-faced, drooling, brain-dead, idiot looking back at you would be the Troll.

          1. And yet, anonymous coward in’Sincere’, here I am a thoughtful and intelligent human being. Check out exactly what you posted here and wonder why you bother. You can do better, but you are too lazy to bother. I almost feel sorry for you. But it’s your life dude.

            1. Derek,

              Your posts are always hurtful, condescending, and cruel.

              Please stop trying to pretend you are anything but an evil minded, Liberal.

            2. Hmm. I am NOT anonymous. I am NOT a coward. I actually make sense, except when I am amusing others. I don’t think within the 1 dimensional PoliTard spectrum. I research what I talk about. I laugh on cue at brain dead, hateful, cruel, condescending, blahblahblah Neo-Con-Job suckers. I consistently point out the folly of extreme socialists and conservatives. I attempt to help others learn and grow into better selves. I’m really good at making long lists of stuff. I kind of like myself!

              What I don’t like are bullies, liars, puppet humans, psychpaths, blahblahblah. My guilty pleasure is tearing hateful people apart, ripping off their mask and showing them bare naked to the world.

              Thanks anonymous coward ‘Grampsbook’, aka MOPS (My Own Personal Stalker) for providing me this moment of self-assessment. Now it’s your turn. Do try to be ‘truth’-ful for a change. We’re waiting…

      3. Holder used to defend corporations. Apples problems are that they aren’t paying the bribes to Congress like Google and Microsoft. Your comment is pointless and ignorant.

  1. It’s difficult to imagine that a government entity that supports union thugs, Black Panther bigots, and gun running for murderous Mexican drug cartels has any interest in justice.

    1. I live in the DC area and I have worked with nearly every government agency there is. The government is mostly squeaky clean. Government procurement is not corrupt. Bureaucrats are terrified of breaking the law. They don’t bureaucrats for the adventure. The government is located in our country and spread out over 50 states. It has hiring quotas for each state, so government employees are representative of the population of the entire country. On the political level, political candidates like to cite their inexperience as a job qualification. Therefore the government is run by Washington outsiders who accuse each other of being insiders. A large portion of the population (Congress, military, and so forth) live here but don’t have their legal residence here.

      In DC in the winter, a driver from Massachusetts, a driver from Idaho, a driver from Georgia, and a driver from California have an automobile accident, and each one complains that Washingtonians don’t know how to drive in the snow. This is the only city in the United States in which you can live for 40 years and not be from it.

      People tell you the government is corrupt, as if it were populated by UFO aliens or something, because they stand to gain if you believe them.

      1. “The government is mostly squeaky clean. ” That’s reassuring to hear from someone with boots on the ground for forty years. Still, Holder seems to have a distorted and corrupt take on this lawsuit.

        1. Holder is almost certainly not involved, and he is not supposed to be involved. So single human being can perform all the functions of the DOJ, which includes the FBI, by the way. That why the DOJ has more than one employee. The police catch the suspect, the court decides if they are guilty. In this case, the part of the DOJ responsible for such cases files the lawsuit and the court decides the outcome.

          1. Holder is certainly legally, morally, and ethically responsible for what happens at DOJ and what does not happen at DOJ. Shirking one’s responsibility is an affront to civilized society.

            1. That’s massively overstated. It is the Department of JUSTICE, not the Department of WINNING LAWSUITS. Sometimes justice is served if the DOJ loses. The DOJ might even know it is a losing proposition, but it’s their job to take it to court and the court’s job to decide the issue.

            2. In other words, it must be worth wasting taxpayer money to initiate a frivolous and unworthy lawsuit. Also, it seems that if DOJ does initiate a frivolous and unworthy lawsuit that the lawyers at DOJ have no intellectual honesty or legal integrity. Obama should personally step in if such an egregious and malicious lawsuit is initiated. Certainly this Ivy League lawyer occupying the White House should recognize the horrible mistake Holder’s DOJ is committing.

            3. I agree. Over 2000 pages of evidence means nothing to Holder because he says the exec’s from Lehman Brothers did nothing wrong when they nearly destroyed our financial system in 2008. This adminstration are puppets to the banksters. Corrupt to the core.

          2. Maybe Holder isn’t doing the footwork but the buck stops at his desk I think. I’m sure he’s aware of this elephant in the room, this smelly case against the most wonderful company on the planet.

        2. Here’s an experience I had. I used to represent a certain manufacturer in an industry with only three manufacturers. I got a copy of a government bid with specifications that only one company could meet. That company figured the government was corrupt, so they conned their government customer into giving the contracting officer their product specs, not knowing that if there are fewer than three responsive bids, which is how they rigged it, the whole thing has to be thrown out and started over.

          I wrote to the contracting officer and said that the specs did not allow competition, and went through each spec showing how it was wired and how it could be unwired.

          The contracting officer was terrified, because he could see I was right, and because any problem in procurement sends him to jail. He sent my letter to his technical representative, a subject-matter expert.

          The contracting officer’s technical representative verified my claims and gave input to the contracting officer.

          The contracting officer issued an amendment to the bid that revised the specs so that all three manufacturers could compete. Not all the changes were to my liking, though.

          The company that thought the government was corrupt and thought they had hoodwinked the government into giving them the business nearly had a heart-attack when they found out that their deception didn’t work; however, they were able to bid and they did so.

          All three manufacturers submitted responsive bids. We all met the specs. The company I represented had to make modifications to qualify.

          All three company’s read each other’s brochures and pricing sheets and tried to guess what price the others would offer. All three responded with proof that they could meet the specs and with their prices. All three met the specs. My company had the lowest price, so we won.

          The government user accused me publicly of being a crook, but he apologized after the contracting officer explained how procurement works.

          1. Good to hear some competition exists for government contracts. People like you are unsung heroes. Still I think the President threw the country under the bus with regards to the pharmaceutical and insurance business.

      2. Criminals and bad guys will always say they aren’t criminals or bad guys.

        Your assertion that there is little, if any, corruption in government is unsupported by a mountain range of evidence to the contrary.

        You must truly live in an alternate reality if your assertions are true… and since you live in D.C., you must.

        1. Criminals and bad guys will always say they aren’t criminals or bad guys. However, it’s also true that innocent people and good guys will always say that they aren’t criminals or bad guys.

          The implication of what you are saying is that the only people who are not criminals are the ones who claim they are.

          1. You are generalizing, again, Ken. I have spoke with many convicted criminals and the majority of them knew very well that the reason for their imprisonment was violation of one or more laws. They accepted their sentences as an occupational hazard for stealing, murdering, raping, or selling drugs. They knew that they were guilty, they just didn’t give a damn.

    2. … cite a) union thugs (violence, existing laws not applied), b) Black Panther bigots (dragged THAT one up from the 60’s!, eh?) and c) gun running for murderous Mexican drug cartels (again, violence and existing laws not applied) to comment on a non-violent, non-racial, over-application of a law.
      Which means you are merely a troll. Too stupid to inhabit the earth. Please go lock your ignorant ass in a dank basement (where trolls live) until your anti-life force dissipates. TROLL!

      1. Do you think that I intentionally annoy you? Why is that? Do you lack inner peace? Are you intellectually bereft? Does the bright light of truth make you scurry like a cockroach? I don’t know why you feel so uneasy with words. Enlighten me, please.

  2. For anyone interested in a consolidated document showing the DoJ’s allegations followed by Apple’s response, I have a link to one on my site. Elmer-DeWitt is right: Apple’s responses are absolutely embarrassing to read (for the DoJ, that is).

  3. The author of the article made a mistake. The link to Apple’s defense is actually a link to the DOJ complaint. It would be nice to read Apple’s defense.

    This is how it works. A family named after a big river throws a party. Lots of people come and have fun. Then the Apple family next door throws a party. Apple’s party is cooler and more fun, so more people come to Apple’s party than Big River’s party, and in fact, some of Big River’s guests leave and to Apple’s house. Big River tries everything it can to make its party more popular, but they can’t. Their party is getting smaller and Apple’s is getting larger. So they call the cops and complain about the noise. The cops have to act on the complaint.

    The cops knock on Apple’s door and tell them that Big River alleges they are violating the noise ordinance. Apple reminds the police that they are only breaking the noise ordinance if a neighbor can hear the party from inside his house. The police realize that’s right. So they go to Big River’s house, talk to Big River, and discover that they can’t hear Apple’s party from there.

    That’s what has happened so far. This is what happens next:

    The police are miffed. They could have been catching bank robbers or solving murders, but instead, Big River has them chasing wild geese.

    The police tell Big River there is no violation. They tell Apple they don’t have to turn down their music or disperse their party. They tell both families to play nice and not to call the cops unless something really is wrong.

    1. Well done, Ken – although I suspect that your noble efforts to have a thoughtful and soundly reasoned discussion of a complex issue is not likely to have much impact on the likes of “Tad” and “MacFreek.”

      By the way, the way that TheMacAdvocate has organized the complaint and the response makes for good reading.

      1. If you think Ken’s inexplicable rant is sound legal reasoning and contains anything meagerly synonymous with thinking I am eager to read your explanation.

      2. Agreed, Ralph. As a non-American, I’m constantly appalled by the standard of political discourse on this site (aside from the question of whether it belongs here at all).

        It’s good to be reminded that there are still Americans who can add a little rationality to a discussion of complex issues.

        1. I am quite familiar with your type of individual. You agree whole heartedly with those that have the same biases and political persuasions as yourself then make the ludicrous assumption that because you have found someone that thinks just like you that you both must be completely and absolutely correct. Not only is this illogical is it self-deluding.

  4. DOJ gave MS a slap on the wrist and some fines that means nothing to MS. They can make up the lost money easily, because their Monopoly was government approved and allowed to continue.

  5. MDN means Mac Daily News (news about the Mac!) These political assholes are misusing this platform for their political shit. MDN, I am out of here. After quite a long time, I simply can‘t stand it anymore!
    Bye and good luck with the political-extremist-shitters, who destroy everything (especially the aggresive republicans).
    If someone is destroying YOUR country, it is them!

    1. Adios. Goodbye. Scram. Get lost.

      Without fail, when the social liberals encounter opposition they scurry like little cockroaches under the glare of undiluted truth. Bereft of any intelligible and intellectually sound argument their only recourse is to hurl some childish insults, turn tail, and run away.

    2. The more page views the argument, the more money in MDN coffers, they won’t miss you. They would miss the political fighting, it drives their bottom line.

      Would you like some tissue?

  6. Political vitriol gets us nowhere. It only serves to dig each side deeper into its own trenches. Discourse that merely disparages the other side, such as that represented here, without acknowledging valid points or seeking common ground is worse than useless. If we ever hope to move forward as a country, or a global community, we need to be able to discuss our differences rationally and intelligently.

    1. Noble sentiments pastoremily, and I endorse them. But I’m afraid you’re a voice crying in the wilderness here. As noted above, the site owner-operator relies on these countervailing political diatribes for a percentage of his income, and is adept at selecting ostensibly Mac-oriented topics that generate them.

      And if you don’t come here often, be assured that the comments above (including the abuse spewed in my direction for my few words in support of rationality) are mild compared to the vitriolic language that characterises most of the political exchanges on MDN. I’ve learned a fascinating selection of multi-part political obscenities since coming here.

      In the last few years, these rants have increased in frequency and nastiness, and it’s not hard to identify the causal event. But as the demographic structure of the US changes, such events will become more frequent, and unless some sections of the population adjust to them, you risk national implosion.

      If your cause is rational and intelligent political discourse, then I wish you the best of luck. But I think you’ll need it.

      1. As well as respect and civility. Don’t forget those 🙂 I think people need to be reminded of these things occasionally, especially in the medium of internet communication. It’s much too easy to be nasty behind a veil of anonymity and forget that our words have power and repercussions.

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