Apple is embroiled in a publishing dispute in Germany after the company tried to halt sales of a book written by a former executive, App Store Confidential, saying it disclosed secrets about the App Store. Apple alleges that the book contains confidential “business secrets” that former employee Tom Sadowski is not allowed to reveal.
Until late last year, Sadowski was the head of Apple App Store in Germany. After his book was published in Germany this week, Apple wrote to Hamburg publishers Murmann Verlag demanding a halt to sales and a recall of copies already sold, according to extracts of a letter shared with Reuters by Murmann’s lawyer Ralph Oliver Graef.
“The operation of the App Store encompasses a multitude of business secrets,” the iPhone maker said in its letter.
Yet, apart from a brief account of a visit by CEO Tim Cook to Berlin and tips on how app developers should pitch their wares to Apple, the book betrays few – if any – details over how the $1.4 trillion U.S. company does business.
Murmann said a first print run of 4,000 copies was selling well and, rather than pulling the book, it was rushing out a second print run. “It’s No. 2 on the Amazon best-seller list in Germany – everyone is talking about it,” said Peter Felixberger, an executive at Murmann. Apple, meanwhile, has not yet sought a court injunction on sales of the book. “It looks like Apple has gone a bit far tactically, building up pressure and issuing threats but then lacking the courage actually to go to court,” Graef said.
Apple said it had fired Sadowski for writing the book, although Sadowski said he left Apple last November and that his plans to publish the book only became known in December.