U.S.A. v. Apple: Cupertino awaits e-book antitrust decision with more lawsuits in wings

“Apple Inc. will find out sometime in the coming weeks whether it’s legally responsible for an alleged scheme to fix prices for electronic books, after an unusual three-week civil antitrust trial in Manhattan,” Bob Van Voris reports for Bloomberg News.

“U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who heard the trial without a jury, will rule on U.S. claims that Apple, the world’s biggest technology company, led a conspiracy of five publishers to raise the retail price of e-books and to force Amazon.com Inc., the No. 1 e-book seller, to change its pricing model,” Van Voris reports.

“A group of states is also seeking fines and unspecified damages,” Van Voris reports. “If Apple is found liable, damages will be determined in a separate proceeding. A win for the government may fuel class actions by private plaintiffs seeking triple damages permitted under antitrust law.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
U.S.A. v. Apple e-book antitrust case: The closing arguments – June 21, 2013
Why is Apple Inc. on trial? For good behavior, it turns out – June 21, 2013
Apple says U.S. DOJ’s e-book accusations are ‘misguided’ – June 20, 2013
Apple e-books trial defense: A guilty verdict would send chills across Internet industry – June 20, 2013
The U.S. federal prosecution of Apple Inc. is pointless and harmful – June 20, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: Things are looking up for Apple as e-book trial concludes – June 20, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple judge: ‘The issues have shifted’ – June 19, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple e-book U.S. District Judge Denise Cote just loves her Apple iPad – June 19, 2013
In U.S.A. v. Apple e-books case, witness Barnes & Noble VP Theresa Horner was everything Apple could hope for – June 19, 2013
The Apple e-books trial takes a detour into the absurd – June 18, 2013
Steve Jobs, Winnie the Pooh and the iBookstore Launch – June 17, 2013
Apple set to present its defense in e-book antitrust case – June 17, 2013
Steve Jobs was initially opposed to entering the e-book market – June 14, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: DOJ’s last best chance in e-book case has passed – June 14, 2013
Obama admin trying to throw the book at Apple; U.S. DOJ goes after an innovator whose market entry reduced prices – June 13, 2013
Apple’s Eddy Cue denies price-fixing allegations at U.S v. Apple e-books trial – June 13, 2013
Apple fires back at DOJ with email Steve Jobs actually sent – June 13, 2013
Is Steve Jobs’ unsent email a smoking gun in Apple e-book case? – June 12, 2013
Winds shift toward Apple in U.S. DOJ’s e-book trial – June 12, 2013
Day 5 of the Apple ebooks trial: Publishing execs testify; Rupert Murdoch’s role – June 11, 2013
U.S. v. Apple iBookstore case could go to the Supreme Court – June 5, 2013
Apple accuses DOJ of unfairly twisting Steve Jobs’ words in e-book case – June 4, 2013
U.S. DOJ prosecutors accuse Apple of driving up e-book prices – June 3, 2013
U.S. v. Apple goes to trial; DOJ claims e-book price-fixing conspiracy with Apple as ringmaster – June 3, 2013
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


  1. How much has the DOJ already skimmed from the five publishers who decided to fold and pay instead of fighting this anti-Apple action?

    Will they give the money back to the publisher once the trial is found in favor of Apple?

    The only “fix” is the DOJ stealing from successful , prosperous companies. Apple’s actions revived a dying book publishing industry. It dd not establish a monopoly in a competitive marketplace for publications.

    Amazon now competes directly with those who signed contracts with Amazon to sell books.

    1. The publishers were much closer to guilty. Its a horizontal thing vs a vertical thing. Apple just wanted to sell ibooks with out losing major money. Read Foss and his inputs. He is very spot on.

      1. There is no basis to think publishers are guilty of price-fixing. Yes, publishers wanted to stop Amazon from selling their best-sellers below cost. There are a number of sound business reasons for publishers to feel this way. And publishers may even have discussed business practices and models for successfully selling e-books through third-parties, including Amazon. But this is not the same thing as anti-trust price collusion, particularly if the prices publishers wished to maintain were those that would be set in a competitive market — which appears to be the case (even though prices for their best-sellers are at higher levels than Amazon’s loss-leader prices).

        Also, homogenous prices alone do not indicate price-fixing, as homogenous prices will result from effective competition. Economic principles indicate that the prices of products in competitive markets will tend to cluster. Notice how the prices for a lot of products tend to cluster (eg, beer, food items, airline tickets, hotel rooms). The ability to achieve a higher price requires differentiation — like a best-seller, maybe? But Amazon’s goal was to grow its own e-publishing enterprise at the expense of the established publishers. The publishers never anticipated Amazon would sell their e-books below cost. But that does not mean publishers must live with their mistake. Once they realized what was happening, they wisely, but belatedly, came around to insisting on the agency-model of business with Amazon. Which, incidentally, is the basis on which Amazon sells most of what it sells.

      2. It seems to me that even among the publishers, it would be hard to prove price fixing. They don’t sell the same product. The publisher for Dan Brown (random choice) doesn’t have an interchangeable product with Danielle Steel’s latest offering. You can’t make one compete with the other for my money. Should the publishers be forced to sell “wholesale” quantities of e-books for a low price that a reseller then sells for a lower price? The DoJ apparently thinks so, even though it’s a totally different situation than physical books. You can’t ever have excess inventory of e-books, so the publisher never has to engage in the tradeoff between the impact of selling excess inventory at a lower price vs destroying it. Even if the publishers sat in a room and discussed business development strategies, it’s not the same as colluding to restrict the market. Publishers aren’t even bound from not allowing distribution through resellers at all.

  2. You got to love the civil justice system in the U.S. Once one lawsuit is lost, everybody else can baselessly sue too. Criminal law would call that “double jeopardy”, but civil law calls it “business as usual”, or more accurately, a way for judges and lawyers to make a fortune while everyone else (actual plaintiff and defendant) suffer.

    1. Nonsense. Many crimes are tried in both state and federal courts. Those are not double jeopardy. In business if you sue someone for fraud, and I sue the same person for fraud there is no double jeopardy. Indeed once I find that I was also defrauded in the outcome of another’s trial, I damn well have the right to sue. If many are hurt by a defendant there can be many lawsuits.

  3. This is one of the most chilling and terrifying abuses of power out of many others under the Obama administration. One if the most corrupt and frightening abuses of power I have ever seen from an executive branch in my life time and perhaps the worst in US history based upon new technologies that allow for new abuses that were not available before.

    I would count the days until he leaves office but I’m not confident that it will get better since he set a president that does not appear to have resulted in a meaningful backlash. So we can look forward to even worse in the future.

  4. I have to admit this lawsuit makes no sense to me. I’m an old man, and in my life, I have witnessed several monopolies in action.

    First, in order to have a monopoly, you have to have a dominant market position in the business. Most monopolies wait until they have a dominant share of market sales, and then they raise prices, but only after they use low prices to drive out the competition.

    The companies operating in the book business have little pricing power. They engage in near constant price wars. The only company that has a large enough share of the e-book business to be considered a possible monopolist is … Amazon. Interestingly, Amazon engages in low price warfare as a way of eliminating competition. That is classic pre-monopoly pricing behavior.

    By contrast, Apple was trying to get into the e-book business. They had no significant share of the market sales. So my genius government sues Apple? Really? And Apple tries to break into the book business with higher prices than the dominant player. So the Justice Department sues Apple? My conclusion is that in the Justice Department, the salaries are too high and the IQ’s are too low.

    If you want to witness a monopoly in action, go buy some gasoline.

  5. Apple was doing business just like Amazon. If Apple is found guilty there is someone who is getting paid off for bringing that decision.
    I didn’t read 1 peice of evidence or testimony that made Apple look like any other company doing business like Amazon. DOJ only had 1 piece of evidence but it turned out to be so lame. A draft unsent email. That was there big deal which made them start this waste of time and money. Apple is innocent with out a doubt period!

  6. This is stupid. The US legAl system is stupid.
    Why can they be sued again over the same thing. If the government is right Apple will face stupid lawsuits for years and years… How is that right? How is that legal? It is retarded is what it is. No one has really been hurt in this case.


Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.