“Apple Inc couldn’t have been too surprised on Wednesday when a judge slammed the company for violating antitrust laws over e-book pricing – the judge had warned in May that she believed the government could prove its case,” Dan Levine and Poornima Gupta report for Reuters.
“Accused of playing a central role in a conspiracy with publishers to eliminate retail price competition and raise e-book prices, Apple says it has done nothing wrong,” Levine and Gupta report. “But in addition to defending its honor, the U.S. tech giant has strategic reasons not to settle and to continue fighting the decision as it has said it will do. Chief among those is preserving its negotiating power in future content deals and its ability to control every aspect of its online stores, including pricing.”
Levine and Gupta report, “Settling with the government would likely tie Apple to increased oversight, along with legal restrictions of most-favored nation clauses in the e-book market, said Chris Compton, a California antitrust lawyer who represents tech companies. ‘Apple may have well felt they needed to protect their ability to continue using that kind of clause in their other product lines,’ Compton said.”
“Apple even got some favorable language in the ruling by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York, who stressed she did not intend to issue a blanket ban on specific tools Apple employs – like most favored nations clauses — from a company’s arsenal,” Levine and Gupta report. “She also took pains to limit her opinion to the specific events in the e-book market in 2010.”
Read more in the full article here.
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U.S.A. v. Apple: NY judge rules Apple colluded to fix ebook prices, led illegal conspiracy, violated U.S. antitrust laws – July 10, 2013