Why Apple’s e-book appeal went down in flames

“The refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Apple’s appeal in the e-books antitrust case underscores how poorly served Apple has been by its legal team in this matter,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “Apple will now be required to abide by the terms of Judge Denise Cote’s judgment of 2013 and the settlement Apple reached with the states.”

“This outcome leaves many Apple fans fuming at what they perceive as an unfair or political decision,” Hibben writes. “In fact, the appeal never stood a chance.”

“I’m sure that, even now, Apple’s management doesn’t feel they did anything wrong. Once again, this is really irrelevant. The case was never about right or wrong. It was about violating very specific Federal regulations regarding business practices. The right or wrong of Apple’s actions is open to debate. The fact that they violated SAA [Sherman Antitrust Act] is not. The Supreme Court has made that very clear,” Hibben writes. “The evidence presented by the Federal government that Apple knew about the publisher price fixing conspiracy, and entered into it willingly was really overwhelming. The fact that Apple may have felt that it was doing a service to consumers by breaking the Amazon monopoly doesn’t really matter.”

“Apple’s arrangements with iTunes content providers will probably come under renewed scrutiny,” Hibben writes. “Investors can expect that Apple will be much more cooperative with the Federal government, and take whatever corrective action is required.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What’s done is done. It’s well past time to move on.

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

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Apple appeal over $450 million e-book case – March 7, 2016
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. Yes, this is too often true.

      However, voter apathy is the root cause for poor law created by corrupt representatives. The judges don’t get to change the law, even if they don’t like the law or find it a bad law. They judge whether the law was followed. Apple didn’t follow the bad law.

      Vote out the bums instead of whining that Apple doesn’t always get its way in court.

  1. Why this appeal went down?
    1. The DOJ sees itself as a ‘protector’ of the underdog consumer. Apple is not an underdog.

    2. Jeff Bezos has unexplained influence on the DOJ. The nature of this is not clear but may be old fashioned payola/cash.

    3. The Supremes are not above politics completely and may have been ‘less interested’ in an Apple that won’t build a tool for getting into iPhones.

    4. Apple does not spend much (enough?) money relatively, on lobbying in Washington

    5. The new Apple headquarters is too impressive and is bigger than anything the Feds have. They really hate being one-upped by Cook.

      1. Indeed it goes against a century or more of perceived thought on the part of Govt, its lackeys and its support of commercial interests and their political will over that of the citizen, no mater how much they may bleat their lip service to the opposite.

    1. 6. Apple’s legal team totally sucks

      They squandered a perfect opportunity to challenge the overly-simplistic Sherman anti-trust rules developed nearly 100 years ago. Pathetic.

    2. Last one is too funny…and probably the most true.

      The facts are book prices are higher and Amazon has even greater share of that market (while Apple’s has likely declined).

      Complete injustice for the consumer.

  2. Apple needs to stop making deals with content providers, it is a waste of money, going forward waiting or designing around content providers will leave you behind like Sony. Apple TV can be a lot better if Apple stops waiting FOR THEM.

  3. Apple’s legal team screwed it badly.

    Apple’s legal team let the DOJ get away with calling the primary clause in question a “Most Favored Nation Clause” (which under some circumstances can be illegal). It was not. It was a “Best Customer Clause” which has never been illegal. The DOJ got away with branding it that and the name sunk in (along with all its negative connotations).

    Apple’s legal team let the DOJ get away with saying that Apple colluded with the publishers to fix prices. It did not. The final contracts gave 100% of the pricing control to the publishers. Apple had zero control over pricing. Yet, the DOJ got away with making everyone believe that Apple was fixing prices.

    Apple’s legal team let the DOJ get away with focusing the case on things like Steve Jobs saying, “I know you want to raise prices…” to one of the publishers and saying that was him forcing them all to raise prices. The legal precedent is that statements made (other than overt threats) in negotiations don’t matter at all unless they end up in the final contracts. Jobs just admitting that he knew THE PUBLISHERS wanted to raise prices was not an act of price fixing by Apple. It was merely an acknowledgement of fact that anyone with two active brain cells could have realized too.

    And on, and on, and on.

    Apple’s legal team really screwed this one up. It takes me back to the old “Look and Feel” lawsuit that Apple’s legal team screwed up so badly too.

    The unfortunate reality is that win or lose Apple’s overpriced legal team still laughs all the way to the bank!

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