U.S.A. v. Apple e-book antitrust case: The closing arguments

“It’s as if Apple and the U.S. government were talking about two different cases,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“‘At some level, this is an old fashioned price fixing case,’ Mark Ryan told the court as he presented the government’s closing arguments in U.S.A. v. Apple — the e-book antitrust case that ended Thursday with summations from both sides,” P.E.D. reports. “Ryan started, as he put it, at the end of the story — with the chart above showing the rise in e-book prices after five of the Big Six book publishers put their e-books on Apple’s (AAPL) iBookstore. ‘There are two competing narratives in this case,’ Ryan told the court. ‘One is that what’s reflected on this chart is the product of normal market forces — free and independent competition. The other narrative is that it was a result of collusion.'”

“‘This is not a normal civil case,’ Apple’s lead counsel countered,” P.E.D. reports. “In his closing argument, Orin Snyder started at the beginning, in 2009, when the e-book market that Apple began exploring in mid-December was anything but normal, free and independent.”

Much more from the closing arguments in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

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12 Comments

        1. Botvinnik, do you realise just how big a prick you look, from the other side of the Atlantic? Nobody outside of CONUS gives a flying fuck about your opinion of the President of the USA. You are a total irrelevance. Shut the fuck up and go and play on the freeway.

          1. I doubt that many CONUS residents care about botvinnik’s opinions. Fortunately, most of his statements are so ridiculous and dripping in partisan extremism that they lack any vestige of credibility to anyone who is not a full member of the cult. He claims to be anti-government in general, but his paranoia knows no limits.

  1. If Apple loses this, they would have to pay huge amounts of money to the Gov. Money that the Government and States are in desperate need. After all Apple has BILLIONS AND BILLIONS IN THE BANK. Money that Apple will need for hard times and REAL R&D. While Amazon continues to sit and smile all the way to the bank waiting to get that 90% market share back and control of the eBook market.

  2. So a professional adjudicator (judge), need smooths to decide a case, yet when it’s a jury trial 12 people with various points of view usually have a verdict in hours or maybe days. She was there for all the testimony and should be able to make a decision almost immediately, then take a few days to write it up.

  3. The basic fact that Amazon held 90% of the market (easily defined as a monopoly) and was selling ebooks for less than cost seems to violate the very spirit of Sherman.

    There is no legitimate business case for selling below cost, except to deny others into the market place.

    If Apple did anything, it gave the publishers the leverage necessary to break Amazon’s monopoly status, thereby ALLOWING competition. If prices went up as a result, that was a by-product of breaking Amazon’s illegal monopoly, which had set artificially deflated prices in order to deny new entrants into the ebook market.

    To me this is the core of the case.

    1. It’s called dumping.

      That’s what I don’t understand about this case. Amazon “dumps” ebooks but when real competition enters the market, the real competition is sued for illegal practices.

      Steel manufacturers were sued for dumping. Not the companies that didn’t cut prices below market value.

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