The Apple e-books trial takes a detour into the absurd

“What started as a small ‘gotcha’ moment in the cross examination of a mid-level Apple executive last week grew into a federal case — literally — on Monday, the ninth day of testimony in U.S.A. v. Apple,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“The latest McGuffin in the Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Apple is an e-mail signed by Steve Jobs and addressed to Eddy Cue — the Apple senior vice president whom the government claims was the ‘ringmaster’ of a conspiracy to raise the price of e-books in 2010,” P.E.D. reports. “The evidence was first sprung on Keith Moerer, the head of Apple’s iBookstore, by Dan McCuaig, a DOJ attorney, in the last hour of the sixth day.”

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P.E.D. reports, “The evidence was first sprung on Keith Moerer, the head of Apple’s iBookstore, by Dan McCuaig, a DOJ attorney, in the last hour of the sixth day. Moerer and his colleague Kevin Saul had both testified that Apple was ‘indifferent’ to what kind of agreement the publishers signed with Amazon, then the dominant e-book seller with a 90% market share. But in an e-mail in response to some price cap changes proposed by Eddy Cue, Jobs [seemed to contradict that].”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The whole thing has always been absurd.

As we wrote the day the DOJ filed this lawsuit, “The U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.”

Once again: Killing real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.

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  1. DOJ’s first question in response to Amazon’s crybaby fit about Apple and publishers being “mean” to them should have been: “Have you been playing nice in the sandbox?” Their second question about Amazon’s desire for DOJ to sue for anti-trust should have been: “So what’s in it for you?”

  2. The DOJ’s case hinges on speculation about the intent of a dead man.

    There cannot be any determination by the judge of what Steve Job’s intent was. If anything his intent can only be clarified by Eddie Cue who was his partner and point man in this negotiation, not a prosecutor who never knew the man and who obviously wants to interpret the ambiguous language in this email.

    Not only is it pretentious to try and stand in Steve Jobs’ shoes, but Steve Jobs’ life record shows him to be a person that always stood firm for the benefit of the customer and fairness, making this speculation totally out of character. If speculation is game, at least base it on a track record and the people who had forst hand knowledge of his intent by participation.

  3. This has to be the worst Department of Justice in recent history. From bullying Aaron Swartz literally to death, to attempted cover ups and stalling of the Fast and Furious investigation, to spying on AP reporters, to this farce of a collusion trial, it’s complete and total thuggery.

    Is there no part of this Administration that isn’t a poster organization of amateur hour?

    1. @x
      As always, thanks SO much for your insightful contribution. Such a pleasure to read your thoughtful and illuminating prose. A great addition to the discussion.

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