U.S. v. Apple iBookstore case could go to the Supreme Court

“After Monday’s opening statements in the government’s federal antitrust case against Apple — stemming from Apple’s game-changing foray into the then nascent ebooks market in 2010 — it’s apparent that the case raises novel legal questions that could well end up commanding the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court,” Roger Parloff reports for Fortune.

“For casual observers of the case, this had not been so obvious before,” Parloff reports. “That’s because the legal questions raised by the conduct of the five publishing companies who were also originally named as Apple’s (AAPL) co-conspirators and co-defendants in the case—Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster—did not pose comparably challenging questions. (Each publisher settled before trial admitting wrongdoing.)”

Parloff reports, “Unlike Apple, the publisher defendants were charged with engaging in a horizontal price-fixing conspiracy—a well-recognized, frequently encountered, and widely condemned variety of collusive behavior… In contrast, though, Apple had a vertical relationship to all the other players in the alleged plot. As a result, its conduct poses far less familiar factual and legal questions. While there have been prior cases in which vertical players have participated in horizontal antitrust conspiracies, these have usually involved situations where a behemoth vertical player was the instigator and chief beneficiary of the whole scheme — the ‘ringmaster,’ as courts have put it. Apple doesn’t fit that template, though.”

Tons more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Ellis D.,” and “blaargh” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
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U.S. DOJ prosecutors accuse Apple of driving up e-book prices – June 3, 2013
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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
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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
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Apple, publishers offer EU e-book antitrust settlement – September 19, 2012
Judge rubber-stamps U.S. e-books settlement – September 6, 2012
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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
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      1. sfgh, I took your advice and went to the article. And it is different…. No logic or reason, just tons of emotion cause I want it this way…

        Sadly, I see this more and more in both articles, politics, and comments…. People not even trying at reason, facts, logic… But rather,,,,, “I don’t like you…. so you must be wrong”.. and here is one snip-it of a fact and then tons of emotion to twist it another way.

        I take your own comments to task..”On here, it’s “We love Apple! Fuck you! We’re delusional and we don’t care!!!””

        When I see many commenters take a “I am not totally happy with Apple but it is better than in the past” stance.

        Like things, hate things…. But when we try to use that emotion to justify that companies or people are bad… cause we don’t like them… well, I think those people totally lose any creditability.

        Actually the we love apple stance seems better than the “We hate Apple cause Android, Amazon, etc is better… So Apple must be evil…” stance. Now that just sounds like a lack of logic and running on pure emotion.

        Just a thought.

      2. I welcome open debates and the presentation of contrasting/conflicting viewpoints as an opportunity to learn and evolve my own opinions. Sometimes, however, it becomes clear that there is nothing to be gained in an exchange with certain individuals or groups. Sad, but true.

        A “fair and balanced” source of information from sfgh? Perhaps. Regardless, based on my experience with sfgh on MDN, I will not follow any links posted by him (gender assumption based upon language characteristics). The same applies to links from botvinnik and videos posted by BLN. They have not proven to be worth my time.

        1. I’m not even sure why I’m responding to you but you just basically posted nothing.

          All of you. You keep distracting away form the issue. Calling out people’s characters. I could say that Apple is amazing. That the DOJ is full of shit. That Amazon is evil. And you’d all agree with me without ever looking at any facts. At all.

          This is how idiotic and delusional you all are. You simply refuse to believe that Apple is corrupt, like pretty much most businesses are, and that somehow because of your delusional love for them they should be absolved of responsibility.

          Let me say it again.

          Jobs publicly stated that Amazon’s prices would be the SAME when Mossberg asked why someone would pay $14.99 for an eBook when it was $9.99 on Amazon. Jobs also said in writing, “Let’s make a go at CREATING a $12.99 and $14.99 eBook market”. You need to understand…

          This is what they all… all of them got together and colluded on. This is really about bestsellers and new releases… the most popular titles… It’s the equivalent of the movie industry getting together and fixing prices of movie rentals. Which they kind of have, but there’s a bunch of actually legal reasons why newly released movie rentals are pretty much the same price.

          There’s scores of other evidence in the case against Apple. We have the paper trail that shows the collusion between them all.


  1. I hope Apple takes this up with the Supreme Court. If only the government did the same with the medicare, i.e. tell the pharma the price medicare pays will be the lowest you sell anywhere else in the world. Right now, the US pays the highest thereby subsidizing everyone else as Pharma are comfortable to sell the same drugs to other countries at steep discount.

    I have no objections in other countries getting cheap but don’t abuse the home market.

  2. “Each publisher settled before trial admitting wrongdoing.” In other words, they are trained to pay extortion rackets and paid the “fine” in an attempt to reduce damage to their companies.

    I hope Apple has the gonads to stick it in the DOJ’s prejudiced eyes. The DOJ seems to be taking it’s forked-tongue lead from Orwell’s “1984”.

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