Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Apple opposes DOJ ebooks price-fixing settlement, wants "its day in court"

Apple called the proposed judgment "fundamentally unfair"

Article comments

Apple has opposed a government proposed judgment in an ebooks price-fixing lawsuit, stating that the judgement seeks to terminate and rewrite its contracts "before a single document has been introduced into evidence, before any witness has testified, and before the court has resolved the disputed facts."

The company submitted in a memorandum on Wednesday to a court in New York that it should not impose a penalty on Apple "before it has had its day in court," asking the court to defer judgment until after trial, ten months away.

"Once its existing contracts are terminated, Apple could not simply reinstate them after prevailing at trial," it added.

The judgment proposed by the Department of Justice aims to settle the case with three of the five publishers named as defendants in its complaint -Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster. Apple has previously opposed the settlement.

The Department of Justice filed in April an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five large publishers, accusing the companies of working together to raise prices of ebooks, in retaliation for competitor Amazon.com pricing most ebooks at US$9.99 beginning in late 2007.

Apple, also a defendant in the case, has declined to settle the case which is scheduled for trial in June 2013.

In its memo, Apple reiterated that it has never participated in, encouraged, or sought to benefit from collusion, and has no objection to the proposed judgment's bar on collusion.

But without Apple's consent and without a trial, the proposed judgment automatically terminates Apple's agreements and effectively bars Apple and other retailers from selling ebooks under the agency model for two years, Apple said in the filing before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

"There is no explanation why or how the public interest will be served if the eBook industry returns to the conditions that prevailed when one monopoly seller dictated eBook prices through a strategy of loss leading certain titles for certain periods of time," Penguin said in a filing, also on Wednesday, in an apparent reference to Amazon.com. Any pre-existing empirical analyses done by the government to support its proposed settlements either do not exist or have been kept secret, it added.

The publishers allegedly teamed up with Apple to counter Amazon's strategy to lower substantially the prices of newly released and best-selling e-books to $9.99, a price that the defendant publishers saw as a challenge to their traditional business model, the DOJ said in its complaint in April. In early 2010, the defendant publishers agreed to shift to a new pricing model called the agency model, where they set the prices for e-books, instead of retailers, the DOJ alleged.

In a memorandum in support of its motion for entry of final judgment, filed earlier this month, the government said that its proposed judgment, filed on the same day as the complaint, will end the participation by settling defendants in the alleged collusion, and begin to restore competitive conditions to the ebook marketplace.

"This case is about an alleged conspiracy to force Amazon to adopt agency," Apple said in its memo. "Thus, a settlement enjoining collusion or precluding publishers from forcing agency on Amazon would be appropriate."



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments

AdamChew said: Funny you left out the best part when 14 Amazons staffs colludedmet with DOJ as reported in Apples submission



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *