Economists in iPod trial: Apple’s iPod+iTunes system was not anticompetitive

“Apple Inc. tried a two-economists-are-smarter-than-one strategy to convince a jury in a $1 billion antitrust trial that it wasn’t trying to cheat consumers with its early iPod upgrades,” Robert Burnson reports for Bloomberg News.

“Two University of Chicago professors summoned by Apple testified Dec. 10 and Thursday that a Stanford University economist called earlier as a witness by consumer attorneys got it wrong when he calculated that ‘locking’ iPod users to iTunes raised prices starting in 2006 and resulted in damages to consumers and retailers totaling $351 million,” Burnson reports. “Robert Topel, one of the Chicago academics, testified Thursday that Stanford economist Roger Noll failed to take product improvement into consideration when doing his analysis.”

“Topel’s colleague, Kevin Murphy, told the jury Dec. 10 that Apple’s ‘integrated’ system for digital music, made up of a music player, a media player and a music store, was ‘pro=competitive’ and benefited consumers because it was seamless, reliable and easy to use,” Burnson reports. “Because Apple controlled every piece of the system, ‘it had the flexibility to innovate,’ Murphy said. ‘There was no anticompetitive impact.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A real jury would have laughed itself to death over this farce by now. Good luck, Apple.

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Apple goes on offensive in iPod antitrust trial – December 11, 2014
Tango-loving ice dancer recruited as plaintiff to save increasingly-ludicrous Apple iPod suit – December 10, 2014
Apple’s lawyer accuses the media of asking to see ‘a dead man’ in Steve Jobs video testimony – December 10, 2014
News organizations fight to release Steve Jobs deposition video – December 9, 2014
Judge: Apple iPod trial will continue despite no plaintiff in case – December 9, 2014
Apple’s Eddy Cue explains why DRM for music was a necessary evil – December 5, 2014
Apple iPod judge asks if lack of plaintiff dooms trial – December 5, 2014
Apple on trial: Were iTunes updates really an anti-consumer scheme?
Steve Jobs on RealNetworks in 2011 deposition: ‘Do they still exist?’ – December 3, 2014
Steve Jobs said Apple took pains to protect record contracts – December 3, 2014
Star witness in Apple lawsuit is Steve Jobs – December 1, 2014
How to kill the DRM in your old iTunes Store music purchases – March 18, 2014
Apple asks judge to dismiss FairPlay lawsuit following Steve Jobs’ deposition – April 19, 2011
Apple’s iTunes Store goes DRM-free and 3G via iPhone; variable pricing coming soon – January 6, 2009
Major music cartels demand concessions from Apple before inking DRM-free iTunes Store music deals – December 15, 2008
RealNetworks ‘Harmony’ stops working on iPods but nobody notices for a month and a half – December 15, 2004
Real’s online petition for music ‘freedom’ backfires bigtime – August 17, 2004
Real cracks Apple’s Fairplay; to sell iPod-compatible songs without Apple’s authorization – July 25, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: Go pound sand – April 16, 2004


  1. The value of the Apple iPod and more:

    1. mobile device at an affordable price. Previous mobile music devices: Sony Walkman to name one. The competition was not snuffed by Apple. The competition was ignored by consumers.

    2. iTunes. See above.

    3. Real Player started in 1995 (I’m reading from Wikipedia). If anything, Apple was the competitor at the start of the iPod era. Then Apple grabbed the market share. We all know that many companies tried their own schemes, some chasing the iPod directly.

    In 1949, AT&T began commercial mobilization service of wireless phones. Somehow both Apple and RealNetworks did not participate in music playback on those devices.

    As noted by iGads above, the lawyers are ambulance chasers. The judge should fine the lawyers.

    If the judge gives a slap on the wrist to those lawyers, then we know the true colors.

    I’m guessing that Apple is not asking for immediate dismissal of the lawsuit as forcefully as it can.

  2. Does it take an economist to figure out that ipod was not the only mp3 player available ? NoriTunes the only music source?
    Consumer had many choices.
    They did not like spple.. Then Buy the competition..
    Whats so confusing here…?, !

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