The absurd U.S. DOJ e-book case: Apple fights on as consumers spend settlement money at Amazon

“The high-fives must have been flying at Amazon this morning: millions of the company’s customers got notices to spend credits at its Kindle store, and Amazon didn’t have to pay a cent,” Jeff John Roberts writes for Gigaom. “Meanwhile, rival Apple will likely underwrite an even bigger shopping spree for Amazon customers sometimes yet year.”

“Welcome to the ironic denouement of l’affaire ebooks, which reached a climax in 2013 when a federal judge found that Apple had brokered a conspiracy with book publishers to fix prices. The legal tussle resulted in the publishers settling their cases — which is what paid for the customer credits that went out today — while Apple fought on alone,” Roberts writes. “For now, the biggest winner is Amazon, which already dominated the ebook market at the time of price-fixing scheme in 2010. Today, as a result of lawsuits brought by the Justice Department and state governments, Amazon is an even stronger position with the publishers; it will also get a healthy cut of the $160 million or so that the publishers agreed to pay under a settlement.”

Roberts writes, “Right now, [Apple] is in the midst of high legal torture at the hands of a hostile judge, class action lawyers, state attorneys general and the Justice Department.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Apple will someday run into a judge who isn’t a vacant-eyed puppet:

Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote (right),or vice versa
Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote (right), or vice versa

For the whole sordid story in concise form, please read: Apple’s Star Chamber: An abusive judge and her prosecutor friend besiege the tech maker.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
In pretrial view, judge says leaning toward U.S. DOJ over Apple in e-books case – May 24, 2013
Lawyers have complained for years that Judge Denise Cote pre-judges cases before she enters the courtroom – August 14, 2013

Caltech, NYU economists file pro-Apple brief in e-book antitrust case, say Denise Cote doesn’t understand markets or antitrust law – March 5, 2014
Apple urges U.S. appeals court to void ‘radical’ e-books ruling – February 26, 2014
Apple’s e-book appeal to higher court: Toss out the verdict, or give us a real judge – February 26, 2014
U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote: ‘Apple’s reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition’ – January 16, 2014
Judge Denise Cote denies Apple request block her friend as ‘antitrust compliance monitor’ – January 13, 2014
Antitrust monitor Bromwich rebuts Apple accusations of ‘unconstitutional’ investigation – December 31, 2013
Apple seeks to freeze its U.S. e-books ‘antitrust monitor’ – December 15, 2013
The persecution of Apple: Is the U.S. government’s ebook investigation out of control? – December 10, 2013


  1. Say what? The usual criticism of Obama and his administration is that they’re socialists. Despite their name, the Nazis were far-right fascists – the very opposite of socialists. You seem to be a little unclear on the concept . . . .

      1. Ya. That’s why I said “despite their name.” Like East Germany’s name was the German Democratic Republic, yet it wasn’t democratic at all. Try a little research.

      2. But they weren’t “socialist” as we understand the idea today. Socialism meant something very different to Germany back then—it was akin to what we call “nationalism” today. Case in point: the damn Nazis sent communists to the concentration camps along with jewish and homosexual people.

  2. So THAT is what that email was about, that I had a $.73 credit for ebooks. I was confused, especially since I’ve never bought an ebook from Amazon in my life. Never will either, especially after Amazon pulled this crap. This whole lawsuit is so blatantly political that it just makes me sick. Whatever agenda “they” (whomever they may be) are trying to shove down Apple’s throat, I hope Cook stands firm and doesn’t budge. And how very like the government — trying to take down America’s brightest and best company; a socially responsible, financially sound company. Sure can’t have that stuff going on around here . . .

  3. Those who qualified had a period when they could take the settlement in cash (US $). Those that opted not to now have store credit at Amazon for ebooks or physical books.

    I have been and am a customer of Amazon and the amount is pretty small. I have bought a large number of books and the settlement was a little over $22. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place.

Reader Feedback

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