U.S. v. Apple goes to trial; DOJ claims e-book price-fixing conspiracy with Apple as ringmaster

“Apple goes on trial today, Monday June 3rd for allegedly conspiring with five book publishers in regards to price fixing e-book publications,” Jack Taylor reports for VR-Zone. “The case is United States v. Apple Inc et al, and filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-02826.”

“The Justice department claims that the price fixing conspiracy began in 2009 and just before Apple introduced their first iPad. The accusations state that Apple was interested in creating their own on-line e-bookstore, but at that time, which was 2009, Amazon was raking in 90% of all e-books that were sold,” Taylor reports. “Taking advice from two publishing groups, which were HarperCollins and Hachette, Apple entered into the market with the cooperation from the five major publishers who all agreed to give them a cut from the price increases on the publications.”

Taylor reports, “Apple contends that their entry into the e-book market has been only positive and has made the market more competitive along with bringing e-book prices down, which is a benefit to consumers.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Apple’s e-book antitrust trial began Monday and it quickly became clear that the case will revolve around Eddy Cue — Steve Jobs’ point man in the negotiations with publishers that the Department of Justice claims was an illegal conspiracy to raise the price of e-books — [Cue is scheduled to testify on June 13th],” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Apple’s opening statement — once its lead attorney, Orin Snyder, got through asking the judge to ‘hit the delete’ button on the opinion she offered at a pre-trial hearing that the government had already proved its case — tried to pull the rug out from under everything the DOJ had just presented,” P.E.D. reports. “Cue, Snyder claims, was just trying to break into a crowded e-book market (one dominated by Amazon) using precisely the same approach he used when he got the company into the music market with iTunes and the applications market with the App Store. Those innovation poured billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, he said. ‘Apple should be applauded, not condemned.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
U.S. DOJ takes Apple to trial alleging e-book price-fixing – June 2, 2013
In pretrial view, judge says leaning toward U.S. DOJ over Apple in e-books case – May 24, 2013
Penguin to pay $75 million in e-book settlement with US State Attorneys General – May 23, 2013
The hot mess that is Apple’s e-book legal fight with U.S. DOJ – May 16, 2013
Apple: Deals with publishers improved e-books competition – May 15, 2013
Apple tells U.S. DOJ of tough talks, not collusion, with publishers – May 15, 2013
EU ends e-book pricing antitrust probe into e-book pricing; accepts offer by Apple, four publishers – December 13, 2012
Apple, publishers offer EU e-book antitrust settlement – September 19, 2012
Judge rubber-stamps U.S. e-books settlement – September 6, 2012
Apple, four publishers offer e-books antitrust concessions, says source – August 31, 2012
Apple bashes Amazon, calls U.S. DOJ settlement proposal ‘fundamentally unfair, unlawful, and unprecedented’ – August 16, 2012
U.S. antitrust settlement with e-book publishers should be approved, feds say – August 4, 2012
U.S. Justice Department slams Apple, refuses to modify e-book settlement – July 23, 2012
U.S. senator Schumer: Myopic DOJ needs to drop Apple e-books suit – July 18, 2012
Apple’s U.S. e-books antitrust case set for 2013 trial – June 24, 2012
U.S. government complains, claims Apple trying to rush e-books antitrust case – June 21, 2012
Barnes & Noble blasts U.S. DOJ e-book settlement proposal – June 7, 2012
Apple: U.S. government’s e-book antitrust lawsuit ‘is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law’ – May 24, 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

8 Comments

  1. Just from observing recent high-profile cases on the news, it seems that the state (local jurisdiction DA) tend to over-charge in most cases, and end up failing to prove their case to the level required for conviction. I’m incline to believe that it would be hard to prove conspiracy unless Apple is really, really guilty and thought they would get away with. I don’t think that is the case; seems to me to be hard-nose negotiating which generally amounts to a compromise that most parties can live with. If prices went up, Apple did say that they could charge whatever they wanted; not really a provable conspiracy in my book. I’m thinking we are in for a waste of time and money, or in the worst-case, a DOJ conspiracy to defame and extort a corporation. The current DOJ seems to be hard up for a symbolic victory these days.

    1. Exactly, the DOJ and IRS’s image are lookin’ mighty poorly these days. Government in general looking pretty inept (having worked for a Congressman and two of my family members working for government would attest to that). I don’t see why anyone would want to hope for a DOJ victory here, delusional or otherwise.

  2. The DOJ, a bunch of clueless fools looking for attention going after Apple. Gee they were all okay when Amazon monopolized the market. Pathetic attention whores.

  3. It’s cases like this that make me say that a civil action brought by government should carry with it an AUTOMATIC award of attorney fees, defendant’s losses (both actual and hypothecated) and defendant’s time spent should the government fail to win its case.

  4. I hate to say it, because I think the DoJ is flat out wrong, but I think Apple is going to lose this.

    Even if the feds lose, there are fifty little nieces and nephews that will be all too willing to go after Apple.

  5. DOJ should be taken to court for wasting tax money. In DOJ’s eyes Apple is already guilty, this trail is just for show and because our society requires it.

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