In amicus brief, Authors Guild, ABA, B&N back Apple; urge U.S. Supreme Court to overturn ebooks verdict

“In an amicus brief filed on December 2, a coalition of authors groups and booksellers urged the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision finding Apple liable for its role in a 2010 conspiracy to fix e-book prices. In the 37-page filing, the Authors Guild, Authors United (the group organized by Douglas Preston in 2014), the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble, argue that Apple’s entry into the market in fact benefited consumers,” Richard Albanese reports for Publisher’s Weekly. “‘Absent correction,’ the brief states, the lower court decisions against Apple ‘threaten to undermine the very objective of antitrust law—to ensure robust competition.'”

“The amicus brief comes in support of Apple’s petition this fall to have the Supreme Court review the case, after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in June upheld Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 ruling finding the company liable for price-fixing,” Albanese reports. “Apple attorneys argue that the lower courts erred in finding Apple liable for a ‘per se’ case of price-fixing, rather than applying the more rigorous ‘rule of reason’ standard, which, Apple contends, would exonerate their conduct.”

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

We are pleased to lend our support in this matter, critical to anyone interested in a competitive and diverse literary marketplace. We fundamentally question the wisdom of the Second Circuit’s use of antitrust law to punish a business arrangement that demonstrably increased competition in the e-book marketplace. — Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild

Albanese reports, “In a reference to Amazon’s buy-button battles with Macmillan and Hachette, the brief notes that ‘Amazon could, and in fact did, cut off access to certain e-books, leaving many consumers with no practical way to purchase them.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This absolute fiasco was caused by an incompetent DOJ and a complicit, blank-eyed federal puppet. Apple is right to fight this travesty to the very, hopefully righteous, end.

Correct this travesty, U.S. Supreme Court!

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

Why Apple thinks they can win their e-book antitrust case at the Supreme Court – November 3, 2015
Why Apple took its ebook antitrust battle to the U.S. Supreme Court – October 30, 2015
Apple asks U.S. Supreme Court to toss e-books antitrust decision – October 29, 2015
U.S. federal puppet Denise Cote says Apple e-books antitrust monitor’s term to end – October 13, 2015
U.S. DOJ says Apple e-books antitrust monitor no longer necessary – October 13, 2015
Apple is its ‘own worst enemy,’ U.S. antitrust monitor Bromwich claims – October 6, 2015
WSJ: U.S. Supreme Court should strike down the risible antitrust campaign against Apple – July 1, 2015
Apple is headed to the Supreme Court over e-book antitrust case? – June 30, 2015
Apple loses appeal in e-book price-fixing case – June 30, 2015


  1. Nice Barnes & Noble..

    This is a good group for an amicus submission. Amazon has been playing dirty, even now. They are willing to sell product at a loss, to undercut/destroy the competition, even their own manufactures/publishers suffer.

  2. I fully agree with Apple taking this as far as possible, and, BTW, I think they should spend lavishly until they get legislation through congress that fixes the law assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t rule on reason.

  3. Have there been any amicus briefs filed that are in support of the DOJs position?

    I’ve heard of many filed in support of Apple, but none the other way.

    Also, as a side note: I’m currently employed by a company that has also been targetted by the government/DOJ for much different, but equally as head scratching, reasons. It seems this DOJ has been trying to push an agenda that throws logic and justice out the window in favor of their own opinions, regardless of how irrational, illogical, illegal, and ill-informed they may be. Thankfully my employer is just as much about defending their name as Apple is and is willing to fight back with everything we’ve got.

    I will be celebrating the day this charade of an administration is put out to pasture.

    1. This is the very first amicus brief filed in the SCOTUS and the DOJ hasn’t yet filed its opposition to Apple’s petition for Certiorari – it got an extension till January.
      In the 2nd Cir Ct. of Appeal, the states filed amicus briefs on behalf of the DOJ. You can expect them to do so again at SCOTUS level, though whether they’ll do so at the Petition stage or wait until briefs on the merits are filed (assuming the Petition is granted) is another question. I suspect they won’t file at this stage since they don’t really have a rational argument for not wanting the issued decided by the highest court in the land.

  4. Truth is stranger than fiction. Win or lose the Supreme Court case, Douglas Preston has the chops to write a best-selling exposé of the appalling e-books fiasco (he did one, The Monster of Florence, about corruption in Italy). I imagine he’s tempted to frame this one as fiction — an Agent Pendergast thriller, featuring puppet-masters pulling strings in Washington, directed by a sinister bald-headed dwarf.

  5. Apple has been targeted and then decided against for one simple reason – it won’t play ball with the current administration. It’s not about safety. It’s not about justice. It’s not about truth. Obama is an SEIU union thug with all the class and subtlety of any union thug.

  6. Will the USSC suddenly become tech savvy? I seriously doubt it.

    But Apple should win this simply on anti-trust law history. This DOJ prosecution/persecution was idiotic from the start. It never had any actual basis in anti-trust law, at least from my limited legal perspective. Instead, it was #MyStupidGovernment licking the backside of Amazon. The End.

  7. “In a reference to Amazon’s buy-button battles with Macmillan and Hachette, the brief notes that ‘Amazon could, and in fact did, cut off access to certain e-books, leaving many consumers with no practical way to purchase them.’”

    I find it surprising that Macmillan and Hachette didn’t sell the same ebook titles at B&N, Google Play, etc.

  8. US anti-trust law and legal precedent are out of date. They were established in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and were relevant to big cases of the era, like Standard Oil. (Although actually, part of the SO case was about them lowering prices to drive competitor gas stations out of business, then buying them cheap and raising prices. Sound familiar? Predatory pricing, anyone? Hello, Amazon?)

    We now have a much more sophisticated understanding of statistical analysis, business modeling, game theory, competitive dynamics, and economics that can be applied issues of anti-trust today.

    Anti-trust law is a defining issue of our times and we owe the country sound laws designed to prevent anti-trust behavior and promote healthy competition.

    1. Just have to take care not to create laws that penalize/hobble companies that have ethically achieved their near monopoly through good business practices and market forces.

Reader Feedback

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