U.S. states claim Apple owes them $840 million over e-books

“Apple Inc. (AAPL) faces as much as $840 million in state and consumer antitrust claims related to electronic-book deals with publishers that led to a U.S. lawsuit and court-ordered monitor,” Patricia Hurtado and Christie Smythe report for Bloomberg.

“State attorneys general and consumers who sued the world’s most valuable technology company over its e-book pricing are seeking $280 million in damages and want that amount tripled, a lawyer for them said in a filing yesterday with the federal judge in Manhattan who presided over the U.S. case against Apple,” Hurtado and Smythe report. “The plaintiffs say they’re entitled to triple damages under antitrust law because the U.S. had already ‘conclusively proven’ at a trial last year that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy to fix prices. The amount sought is 0.5 percent of the $158.8 billion in cash that the Cupertino, California-based company reported that it had as of the end of 2013.”

“U.S. District Judge Denise Cote concluded in July after a nonjury trial that Apple orchestrated a scheme with publishers to fix the prices of e-books. Cote also found Apple liable to 33 states that joined the U.S. Justice Department in its suit,” Hurtado and Smythe report. “Cote said she will hold a trial this year on the damages sought by the states… The plaintiffs yesterday asked Cote to issue a ruling before the damages trial ordering the $280 million penalty to be tripled, based on her conclusions in the government case. ‘The three cases pending before this court allege the same conspiracy, by the same conspirators, with the same goals, methods, and effects,’ Steven Berman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, wrote.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Idiocy, absurdity, and puppetry.

Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), Judge Denise Cote (right),or vice versa
Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), Judge Denise Cote (right), or vice versa

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  1. I laugh at the insanity of government. Obviously big government is the creation of communists & socialists everywhere, Venezuela & USA included in what I call the Hugo Chavez effect. Big government needs to suck up money from private individuals to support their untenable spending so they seek under every nook & cranny to apply a ‘supertax’ on citizens.

    The latest practitioner of bloated government is Cristina Fernandez Kirschner. You need look no further than the corrupt states of Argentina & Venezuela as prime examples of the state machinery gone mad.

    Of course the community organiser over at the WH takes his cues from these uber communists so the actions of the DOJ have to be seen in that light.

    I quote Dame Margaret Thatcher the doyenne of conservative fiscal policies when questioned in Parliament as to whether Britain should loosen state controls over the economy. The famous ‘This Lady Is Not For Turning’ speech.

    “If our people feel that they are part of a great nation and they are prepared to will the means to keep it great, a great nation we shall be, and shall remain. So, what can stop us from achieving this? What then stands in our way? The prospect of another winter of discontent? I suppose it might.

    But I prefer to believe that certain lessons have been learnt from experience, that we are coming, slowly, painfully, to an autumn of understanding. And I hope that it will be followed by a winter of common sense. If it is not, we shall not be—diverted from our course.

    To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the ‘U-turn’, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn [U-turn] if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.’ I say that not only to you but to our friends overseas and also to those who are not our friends.”

    1. Stockholm Syndrome, Nut. Yes, let us never disturb the ability of the ultra-rich to concentrate ever more power and ever more money in their hands… more money than they could spend if they lived a thousand lifetimes. The top 85 people have more wealth than the bottom 3.5 BILLION. That is not because the 3.5 billion are “takers” and “lazy parasites” who could “better themselves if they cared to”.

      Yes – Henry VIII, Vlad the Impaler, Margaret Thatcher, Mitt Romney, Chris Christie – all so noble, all caring so much about people. Society doesn’t just happen… it is arranged and built… and thinking things such as “people should be paid enough to feed their children” or “you shouldn’t be a greedy, conniving, vindictive scumbag like Christie” is not being a communist.

      It is horrible that the right-wing overlaps so deeply with fundamentalist christianity but also with such raving greed. I think if we had a society ACTUALLY built on the teachings of “their Lord”, it would look very, very different than the pathologic greed-fest we live in today.

      1. Yes. When I woke up this morning I received a notice. It says pursuant to leftist dogma you are prohibited from working hard, continuing your education, seeking better employment, doing what you like because there are rich people. In order to fix this please surrender 40% of your income, or else the government will put you in jail.

        Yes, I’m so threatened by the rich.

        1. To break it right down to essentials, society is organized either:

          – “by the people, for the people”

          – or for the overwhelming advantage of a tiny minority… absolute monarchy, dictatorships, and the US.
          And, of course, most countries are somewhere between.

          Society doesn’t just “happen” through the action of some kind of forces – market or other. It is ARRANGED in certain ways. And modern American society is arranged to benefit a small elite to a pathological degree.

          No cries of “they deserve the money they made” justify the insane imbalance in today’s America. A pyramid of wealth REQUIRES there to be a huge number of people forming the base of the pyramid. But those people could be paid far better and live far better lives without destroying the basic capitalist idea. In fact, it would probably be BETTER for capitalism if they were paid better.

          And don’t give me this shit about “takers” and “parasites”. There’s good work being done to get the “homeless vets” numbers down… don’t know exactly what they are now… but not long ago there were TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND. Are you going to tell me these men and women who risked their lives for you are just lazy parasites who just choose to live like that?

          1. The NFL is just one example. Billions of dollars change hands for the benefit of a handful, the taxpayers foot the bill for their outlandish stadiums, and yet the NFL pays no taxes.

        2. Thelonious, I always discount the mad ravings of a left wing loon the moment he brackets Margaret Thatcher, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie in the same sentence as Ivan the Impaler and Henry VIII.

          The mind of a left wing loon can’t distinguish between free market economics and the actions of autocratic rulers. That is why the left wing loon is always asking for state handouts, because he knows that if he had approached Vlad the Impaler back in the day for state handouts, he’d have a stake driven up his lazy ass for his troubles.

          Maybe that’s why left wing loons associate autocratic rulers with the notion of self help. You had to help yourself in those days or you were very quickly taking a dirt nap. These days it’s called bootstrapping yourself up from poverty but that sounds like too much hard work to the left wing loon.

          1. Believe it or not, I think I could find common ground with Sean. His mind would have to open a bit. I can open mine. I can concede that the nature that wealth has to accumulate can be a social problem, however I’ve seen no viable solution as to what to do about it, not and maintain the creation of wealth that benefits us all.

            The bottom line argument between left and right is the contest between equality and freedom. The left will seek equality over all else even if it means diminishing the freedoms and liberties of others. They will use government to establish and protect equality no matter how large and powerful that makes government become.

            The right values freedom and liberty above all else. I want the right to pursue my own destiny, and that means I have the freedom to succeed and fail. I do not expect to be protected from failure. Preparing for failure is my responsibility.

            I am willing to pay taxes for public works and infrastructure and the things that make all of our lives in this country better. I do not see the government doing much of this. I see corruption, a massive welfare state, foreign wars, an out of control defense budget, billions being spent to spy on American citizens and so on. Basically I’d rather the 85 richest people have the money than the government have one more dime at this point. At least they created it.

            Now if we can get government back on track, doing what it was mandated to do instead of everything from banning sodas to funding fly by night “Green companies” I’m in.

            One thing Sean is right about is that this country didn’t come into existence by happenstance, it was designed. It is the only country to have been created by philosophers and learned men in such a way. The more we drift away from that design, the more dysfunctional the system becomes.

            That and yeah, Chris Christie is a dick.

          2. You have a paid class of lobbyists designed to change the laws of the land to benefit the top 10% yet you don’t think you have autocrats. Interesting. Corporations pay to change the laws to protect their billions but cries that these people should actually pay their share means you are a “leftist”. What laughable nonsense.

  2. Even though $840M will be a dent in Apple cash flow it’s insanity. Hopefully this idiotic trial will be overturned in appeal.
    It will be interesting to find out up to which level of justice insanity is.

    1. Hopefully after they are found innocent they can recover the extortion they’ve been required to pay to the ‘monitors’ who have gone around disrupting the company!

  3. If there is a dollar anywhere the government and filthy scumbag lawyers will sniff it out and grab it. We could solve a lot of problems in this world by simply eradicating the majority of lawyers.

  4. The Gov Leaders of those 33 States are currently salivating with the thought of getting their grubby, dirty, greasy, slimy hand in Apple Cookie Jar or Billions. That’s what this is all about. It’s a bad situation for Apple. How can you get justice when the very people deciding who is right or wrong is driven by their own greed. I just hope Apple doesn’t give in, but with 33 States and the current administration approving this kind of theft from the DOJ, Apple may lose more than just a couple of billions in the bank. DOJ is out to destroy or severely handicap Apple as a whole.

  5. I support the importance of states’ rights as designed in our constitution.

    That said, I’m ashamed of the states that are participating in this absurd lawsuit. All it indicates is that there are scumbag lawyers in those states as well as in DOJ.

  6. This will be the shortest damages trial in history.
    In Cotes feeble mind, Apple’s offending has been wilful and unrepentant. She can’t seem to get it her thick head, you can’t be remorseful (essentially admitting guilt) if you are appealing the case.
    So far she has given the DoJ everything they have wanted.
    Triple damages is a given. The Apple lawyers might as well not even turn up. In fact that is what they should do, in protest of this bitch’s obvious bias.

    Below is the best summary of the case I have read so far, showing the glaringly obvious problems with the verdict.

    This quote from the article sums up judge Cote in a nutshell.
    “Judge Cote has a reputation (far preceding her involvement in the Apple e-book trial) for pre-judging the cases before her and tailoring her ruling to fit the predetermined conclusion, regardless of evidence introduced during the trial.

  7. Mmmm turning out to be the circus, uh farce uh trial of the century, and the century is relatively just beginning.
    Man someone is going to end up with stinky fingers. I hope koh Cote is a good licker.

  8. I still don’t understand how one ‘judge’ can decide all this on her own and not be done through a jury of some sort.

    The fact that she is bias towards Apple is evidently clear. I hope Apple’s appeal is upheld.

    Even if the States’ lawsuit is won, Apple will just appeal it and it’ll be years before anyone see ANY money.

    Besides, if the consumers are hurt, then the ‘triple’ damages should be given back to the people and NOT to the States.

    How were they affected?

    1. Whoever at the DOJ called the shot in the beginning obviously kept pulling the strings. The denial of justice has gotten ridiculous. I mean, DOJ ordering judges to pass X verdicts and deny motions? Independence really went down the shtter in the US.

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