Why is Apple still fighting the U.S. Department of Justice over e-books?

“A question hangs over Apple Inc.’s e-books trial: Why is Apple fighting the U.S. Department of Justice when the book publishers the agency also sued chose to settle?” Jessica E. Lessin reports for The Wall Street Journal.

MacDailyNews Take: Because Apple is not guilty of the charges and the only reason this case exists at all is because Jeff Bezos is a whiny little bitch and the U.S. DOJ is morbidly inept.

“The answer lies in part in what’s at stake. Apple says it is fighting the high-profile case, now in the hands of a federal judge, on the principle it did nothing wrong,” Lessin writes. “But the company is defending a lot more than its tiny digital-books business. A win would help Apple maintain negotiating clout with media companies, which are searching for new ways to make money in markets shifting online. A loss could hamper its ability to compete with rivals like Amazon.com Inc. to land increasingly important media deals on favorable terms.”

Lessin writes, “While the government is only suing Apple over e-books, Apple uses a similar approach of trying to land partners by letting them set prices in other areas, like its app store. An ability to negotiate favorable terms is critical to its ability to compete with Amazon.com, which tries to offer lower digital prices. ‘Apple is smart enough to realize what is potentially at risk for digital commerce generally,’ said David Balto, a former policy director at the Federal Trade Commission. ‘They want to preserve their market power to disadvantage rivals and dictate the terms of competition.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
U.S.A. v. Apple: Cupertino awaits e-book antitrust decision with more lawsuits in wings – June 24, 2013
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. “Because Apple is not guilty of the charges and the only reason this case exists at all is because Jeff Bezos is a whiny little bitch and the U.S. DOJ is morbidly inept.”

    No further comments required.

    1. Another key point is that the book publishers may very well have banded together to adopt Apple’s model for all of them and thus force Amazon to change it’s wholesaler model. That didn’t involve Apple as a conspirator; Apple was just the opportunity.

  2. If you have the likes of Balto as the consumersv protectors shows you how screwed the american public is. These guys see nothing wrong with the predatory pricing of amazon. They see nothing wrong that google pays 9 percent in federal tax while apple pays 26 percent and only apple gets hauled in front of congress.

    It is laughable and tragic that these supposed protectors of the american public get away with this. Another example is the head of the CFTC being an ex-GS guy. Imagine a 20 times leverage still allowed In the commodities market. The price of oil should be $30 per barrel tops. Wall Street is just laughing, spitting, stomping on the American public.

    The most hated company by WS, apple. They have hated Jobs and want another sculley to rape the company.

    1. They have hated Jobs and want another sculley to rape the company.

      ‘Come on Apple! We’re going to FUD and FRAUD the hell out of you until you turn into yet another Marketing-As-Management FAIL-job like us! Dammit!’

      Apple knows better, like no other company. They’ve been there, got screwed, overcame it, became the greatest company on the planet. Yeah right. Apple wants to become just another FAIL-job company. I don’t think so. Apple made that QUITE clear this past week in their new ad campaign.

      And it ticks you off to no end, doesn’t it! That hate you’re feeling is your OWN self-loathing. Getting the clue yet? 😛

  3. I don’t see Apple using their market power to disadvantage rivals, in fact Apple brought in the app store model which all their rivals now copy. Never before has the whole industry changed their basic business models so quickly.

    On the other hand Isn’t Amazon the one really using their “market power to disadvantage rivals and dictate the terms of competition” by taking unprofitable and unsustainable deals – same old “sell ’em cheap” with little innovation – just to kill off competition?

  4. This is retarded.

    Apple’s ability to let publishers/developers/studios set prices and add 30% is not in danger. If it was, there would be chaos in many sectors of the economy. I started to list categories that use a cost-plus or comission approach, and gave up. Too many.

  5. Murdock has turned the Wall Street Journal into a Tabloid. They don’t just report the news, they reshape the news to add their “take”. The WSJ has become, at least in part, a gossip rag because gossip sells.

    1. Murdock has turned the Wall Street Journal into a Tabloid

      Like we didn’t see that coming from a mile away. Murdock is the ANTI-Professional. Turn the world into trash heaven. Cater to the lowest common denominator. Drag the world back down into peon peasant scum versus the aristocratic elitist twits. One great big world of stupid.

      No thank you! Keep your pig sty to yourself Rupert. Not going there. Just pointing at it and gagging.

  6. WSJ special report:

    “Why are Apple HQ bathrooms larger than normal?”

    After many months of intense research, computer statistical analysis and deep penetration by WSJ investigative reporters we have discovered that Apple HQ bathrooms are 0.23% larger than the Fortune 500 average. This astounding fact deeply hidden in the secret confines of Apple will sure to have wide implications to the tech industry and the U.S economy in general. Will Congress investigate? WSJ will continue its analysis by measuring the bathrooms of corporations in other countries….”

  7. There are 50 greedy State Attorneys General just waiting for a DoJ win so the can dip into the money pile citing precedent. Apple needs to nip that in the bud.

    Plus what MDN said.

  8. The real question in my mind is why is Amazon not being held accountable for abusing what was a monopoly position in the ebook market by selling the vast majority of their books below cost to drive all other competitors out of the market. Apple’s true effect was that of breaking a monopoly and allowing all ebook sales to happen on a level playing field.

  9. “why is Amazon not being held accountable for abusing what was a monopoly position in the ebook market …”

    Amazon has a lot more lobbyists & gives more money to Congress?

  10. Explain the facts of the case to any average guy on the street and they look at you dumbfounded when they find out that Apple is being made out to be the bad guy.

    Only in da gubmint.

  11. Stopped making sense at “amazon sells at low prices”.
    So fed up with that line.

    As a small businessman who had to fight predatory pricing, it sickens me to watch amazon sell at a loss and never get called out for it. Be honest. Selling at a loss isn’t honest.

Reader Feedback

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