The view from the courtroom gallery at U.S.A. v. Apple ebook trial, round one

“The benches were hard. The courtroom was over-cooled. The reporting challenges were daunting (no Wi-Fi, no cellphones, no laptops),” Philip Elmer-DeWitt writes for Fortune. “But the drama that unfolded over three weeks of testimony was compelling, and I was happy to be one of a handful of reporters who sat through the whole thing.”

“I thought I had a good handle on U.S.A. v. Apple — a.k.a. the e-book antitrust case. I knew U.S. District Judge Denise Cote — a former prosecutor — had gone into the trial predisposed against the defendant. She said as much in a pre-trial hearing,” P.E.D. writes. “But I thought Apple (AAPL) had put forward a strong defense. Like the Author’s Guild and at least one U.S. Senator, I thought the government was prosecuting the wrong company. At several points during the trial I thought the judge was coming around to Apple’s point of view.”

P.E.D writes, “Having read Judge Cote’s 160-page opinion, in which she questioned the credibility of Apple’s key witness, ridiculed its legal defense and ruled decisively against the company, I see that my view from the benches wasn’t so good after all. How could I have been so wrong?”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Where’s the proof that Apple conspired with publishers on ebook pricing? – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple ruling could allow U.S. government to monitor, interfere with future Apple negotiations – July 10, 2013
Judge Denise Cote likely wrote most of her U.S.A. v. Apple ebooks case decision before the trial – July 10, 2013
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

22 Comments

  1. WOW, MDN as well as others have a hard time dealing with issue. So Apple pays a fine and settles. That’s what the e-book publishers did, settle with the government and states.

    Apple may be saying they are going to appeal, but you better believe Apple knows how it’s going to look that the “others” settled out of court to their appeal chances. To continue this route, Apple only faces continued attention on this matter.

    1. You obviously don’t know the company very well. Here’s a primer:

      1. When it comes to their legal strategy, when they say they’re going to do something, they do it.
      2. Apple didn’t settle for the same reason its going to appeal this until the end of time: principle.

      1. The freedom crowd, always the first to shout shut up. This is ironic coming from those that live perpetually with their heads buried, if not the ground, then their own backside.

  2. “How could I have been so wrong”.
    Easy, the judge already made her judgement before the trial began. Paid off by the government. Easy to dismiss everything and say the prosecution totally proved there case.
    When in reality they proved the opposite in court. But since the judge probably got paid off the outcome was already set in stone.

  3. The only thing PED didn’t take into account is that the checks cashed by the judge are dispensed from the same hand as the checks cashed by the plaintiffs.

  4. Apple to publishers: “This is our model. This gives you an opportunity to raise prices so that you’re not starving yourselves selling your stuff to Brawndo Books Corporation. Oh yeah, and we are paying you 70 percent of the list price rather than 30. We’re flipping it.”

    Courts: “Sorry, you aren’t allowed to negotiate with publishers about entering new markets. Making markets more competitive isn’t at issue here since Apple is on trial. We will only consider circumstantial evidence surrounding Eddy Cue and not the strange yacht meetings that Bezos held. We do not consider context.”

    I am curious about the Cue’s denial of knowing Sargent’s whereabouts. And I am open-minded about Apple’s guilt. But it seems like this trial misses the forrest for the trees, and that is dangerous for the industry.

  5. This makes no sense…after reading the entire article it seems to me the judge was completely biased. There was no way she would be impartial, so why was she not recused and replaced?
    The Supreme Court ruled on this very issue in the ’90s, so it is a valid question.

    1. Judge was surely biased. Not like all the posters here who are clearly not biased. Apple should be allowed to conduct business however it pleases. It should be allowed to duck taxes however it pleases. Too bad so many people are biased and not like all the Apple fanboys who are always objective and fair.

  6. Like I wrote yesterday, all one has to understand is that Jeff Bezos regularly attends Bilderberg meetings, where worldwide policy is decided.

    Eric Schmidt is also a regular Bilderberg attendee, which might explain why ’s patent “wins” have been next to meaningless.

    1. And I have also noticed all the sports referees are always biased against my teams. There is no justice in anything American. Why don’t you and me move to a free country?

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