“A conspiracy to increase prices that results in lower prices is either incompetent or it isn’t a conspiracy,” The Wall Street Journal opines. “Take Apple’s entry into the digital books market with the iPad, which led to more consumer choice, competition and innovation, as well as lower e-book prices. That reality has not deterred a federal antitrust vendetta against Apple, now joined by Judge Denise Cote.”
“The federal district judge ruled Wednesday that Apple had colluded in 2009 and 2010 to fix e-book prices with a cartel of the major publishing houses. Her 160-page decision was expected, given that prior to the bench trial—before any testimony had been presented—she had already pronounced her ‘tentative view’ that Apple was a criminal conspirator,” The WSJ writes. “That does not make her reasoning any more coherent. As proof of Apple’s malfeasance she notes that the company ‘did not want to begin a business in which it would sustain losses’ and ‘hoped to launch a new content store that was both profitable and popular.’ Next up, indictments for every other successful American company.”
“Apple says it will appeal and it is doing a public service in doing so,” The WSJ writes. “The feds are attempting to declare certain normal business practices as “per se” violations, or inherently illegal, rather than having to prove that they help or hurt competition and consumers. Under Justice’s theory, any new media content or other distributor that planned to enter a market and negotiated prices or business models with sellers beforehand would be committing an antitrust crime, even if commerce is better off.”
The WSJ writes, “Judge Cote was credulous enough to buy it, but we trust the Second Circuit or even the Supreme Court will squelch this threat to competition and efficient markets.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote the day the DOJ filed this lawsuit, “The U.S. DOJ is plainly inept” and, obviously, so is Judge Denise Cote.
Killing real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.
U.S. DOJ’s court victory over Apple may turn out to be pyrrhic – July 11, 2013
Apple faces triple damages, longshot appeal over ebook conspiracy claim – July 11, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple verdict could end the book as we know it – July 11, 2013
U.S. DOJ unwittingly causes further consolidation, strengthens Amazon’s domination of ebook industry – July 11, 2013
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