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US DOJ points to Steve Jobs email as 'smoking gun' in e-book trial [Update: email was draft]

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
An email from late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is being used by the U.S. Department of Justice to suggest the company was leaning on book publishers to push Amazon to the agency model, a main contention of the government in its e-book antitrust suit.

In what is being called a "smoking gun," the Justice Department on Wednesday presented the email in an attempt to prove Apple was complicit in colluding with major book publishers to fix the price of e-books sold through the iBookstore, reports Fortune.

"I can live with this, as long as they move Amazon to the agent model too for new releases for the first year," Jobs wrote. "If they don't, I'm not sure we can be competetive?"

The note was a response to SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue regarding a request from publishers that sales prices be raised in the then fluid contract negotiations.

Jobs email


Up to this point, Apple has contended it was indifferent to the publishers' deals with Amazon, which at the time were based on the wholesale model. Under that strategy, content owners sell properties to retailers, which can then price the e-books at or below cost to drive sales.

Counter to wholesale was Apple's agency model. Using a most favored nations clause, agency put control back into the hands of publishers by allowing them to set prices on e-books as long as they didn't sell the same content elsewhere for less.

Over the course of last week's proceedings, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote heard testimony from book publishing executives that seemingly lined up with Apple's assertions of non-collusion. Even one of the DOJ's witnesses, Google Thomas Turvey, faltered on the stand as he failed to name a single publishing executive who supposedly told him Apple required conformity with the agency model in its contracts. The allegations were part of Turvey's he written testimony.

The Jobs email was inserted into the Just Department's case in the final hour of testimony on Wednesday, when Apple's iBookstore head Keith Moerer was on the stand. DOJ lawyer Dan McCuaig asked Moerer if the letter reflected "indifference" to publishers' Amazon dealings, to which the Apple executive said, "No."

As a curious follow-up, Apple's lead counsel Orin Snyder asked Moerer if he was aware that the email was never sent. The DOJ snapped to object, and Snyder's question was stricken from the record. It seems that there is much more to the email than was presented by the government.

More information regarding the email will likely come to light on Thursday, when Eddy Cue is scheduled to testify.

Update: According to AllThingsD, the email from Jobs submitted into evidence today was a draft of a message which was never sent. In the actual correspondence, a copy of which Apple filed following Wednesday's proceedings, there was no mention of a plan to push Amazon to agency and Jobs actually recognized that wholesale pricing may continue.

Also in the final version of the email sent to Eddy Cue, Jobs expresses concern that Apple may get the short end of the stick when it came to content costs, which was one of the main reasons MFN was applied in its contracts with book publishers.

Jobs Final
Source: AllThingsD


It is unclear how the DOJ will deal with the new document, though it is likely that it will argue the draft showed Jobs' intent despite it not ever being sent. Whether that's enough to sway Judge Cote has yet to be seen, though the government's assertions today may carry less weight in light of the new evidence.
post #2 of 86

From the email:-

 

"...each publisher can choose a lower price if they want."

 

"...lowering the price while the book is on the NYT Bestseller List. This will be hard to get... ...but we should try."

 

Smoking gun, my arse.

 

Apple has done nothing wrong and will be exonerated.

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post #3 of 86
The DOJ can go **** itself. Digging up emails from a dead person when he isn't around to defend himself, or clarify his context. Even with no context, this email is nowhere near a "smoking gun".
post #4 of 86
The fact the DOJ objected to "was this email sent" question tells me something. If no one else saw the email or if there are no threads pertaining to the email, how can it be evidence.
post #5 of 86
"If they don't, I'm not sure we can be competetive…"

Sounds to me the options were open but Apple (through Jobs) hoped as heck it went agency model. Sounds reasonable to me. How much did Bezos donate to the DoJ?
post #6 of 86
wheres the smoking gun?
post #7 of 86

You mean the government is reading Mr. Jobs email.....isn't that illegal..isn't that a violation of his 2nd amendent rights.

post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Fred View Post

You mean the government is reading Mr. Jobs email.....isn't that illegal..isn't that a violation of his 2nd amendent rights.

... Subtle. I really like this.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #9 of 86

The current DOJ is corrupt as all hell. I question their competence and I question their motives.

post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The current DOJ is corrupt as all hell. I question their competence and I question their motives.

 

Eric Holder is watching you now.

post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

The DOJ can go **** itself. Digging up emails from a dead person when he isn't around to defend himself, or clarify his context. Even with no context, this email is nowhere near a "smoking gun".

 

Apparently the DoJ are using this to infer "intent".

 

"Thought crimes" are here, it looks like Orwell was out by three decades.

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post #12 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

 

Eric Holder is watching you now.

 

I wouldn't doubt it. Calls are getting logged and collected, email communications are being intercepted and I will be deploying additional encryption methods very soon in order to protect myself from unwanted intrusion by hostile forces.

post #13 of 86
Quite thin. And ridiculous.

What a waste of taxpayer resources.
post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I wouldn't doubt it. Calls are getting logged and collected, email communications are being intercepted and I will be deploying additional encryption methods very soon in order to protect myself from unwanted intrusion by hostile forces.

If they are looking into me here, it's for crimes against the English language. Guilty as charged.
post #15 of 86
The DoJ case is based on a wholly fallacious assumption that the Agency model is anti-competitive. Wholesalers of books (like Amazon) add absolutely no value to the book other than allowing it to be distributed widely, just as wholesalers of software and music add absolutely no value to the software and music other than allowing it to be distributed widely.

So by banning use of the Agency model for books, which just adds a small fixed percentage of the price set be the author to cover the infrastructure to distribute the book electronically to a global customer base, means that the DoJ can ban the operation of all global electronic resource distribution businesses, including the App store and iTunes stores, just to protect the interests of parasitic wholesale businesses of companies like Amazon.

This DoJ action must not be allowed to succeed.
post #16 of 86

How exactly is expressing an opinion on pricing to someone else in YOUR company, colluding with the book publishers?

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quite thin. And ridiculous.

What a waste of taxpayer resources.

No matter how it turns out, I'm happy Apple has the chops to stand ground instead of bowing to intimidation and settling just to cut the costs.
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

How exactly is expressing an opinion on pricing to someone else in YOUR company, colluding with the book publishers?

And if he never hit send, how does not communicating become conspiracy? Hill60's thought crime comment rings true.
post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quite thin. And ridiculous.

What a waste of taxpayer resources.

 

Please keep in mind that this is not a jury trial. A judge will decide guilt or innocence. And this particular judge stated publicly that she thinks Apple is guilty before the trial even began. In my opinion this is a show trial. Apple will be found guilty no matter what. Dozens of class action lawsuits depend on Apple being guilty and so it will be found guilty.

post #20 of 86
How does an unsent email prove apple did anything?
post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Please keep in mind that this is not a jury trial. A judge will decide guilt or innocence. And this particular judge stated publicly that she thinks Apple is guilty before the trial even began. In my opinion this is a show trial. Apple will be found guilty no matter what. Dozens of class action lawsuits depend on Apple being guilty and so it will be found guilty.

Can Apple appeal? I argue they should be able to get this case thrown out. The judge already gave her opinion before the trial started.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post


Can Apple appeal? I argue they should be able to get this case thrown out. The judge already gave her opinion before the trial started.

 

Of course, to the Supreme court which I expect they will do as soon as this judge finds them guilty, as she already publicly pronounced Apple to be, prior to the trial.

 

Mistrial and a gross miscarriage of justice.

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #23 of 86

Very discouraging that the judge sustained the objection.

post #24 of 86
Doj is acting like a lowlife....
Trying to spin facts and context. by presenting a draft that was never sent . Yet avoiding the real e-mail that was sent...

this is the department of Justic of USA?
WOW !!!
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

Doj is acting like a lowlife....
Trying to spin facts and context. by presenting a draft that was never sent . Yet avoiding the real e-mail that was sent...

this is the department of Justic of USA?
WOW !!!
.

LEO and prosecutors are allowed to lie to you; permitted to deceive for the suspected greater good. The Justice Department - even their name is deceiving.
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Fred View Post

You mean the government is reading Mr. Jobs email.....isn't that illegal..isn't that a violation of his 2nd amendent rights.

You're suggesting this occurred prior to this email surfacing as a part of the investigation? It's highly unlikely that they obtained that by illegal means. Also what does it have to do with the second amendment? Somehow I'm guessing it's a reference to some topic from political outsider. I don't read that section, but it's obvious you didn't mean for that to be interpreted literally. I'm guessing it's a joke about recent second amendment press?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quite thin. And ridiculous.

What a waste of taxpayer resources.


I would agree with that.

post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

"Thought crimes" are here, it looks like Orwell was out by three decades.

 

It's time to send in Tom Cruise from the PreCrime Police Force...

 

 

I think I'm starting to understand the Government program here:

 

10 US Government (DoJ) wastes taxpayer money going after Apple

20 US Government Spending Spree (which contributes to Financial Crisis)

30 US Government (Senate) pressures Apple to pay additional tax

40 Goto 10

post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

It's time to send in Tom Cruise from the PreCrime Police Force...




I think I'm starting to understand the Government program here:

10 US Government (DoJ) wastes taxpayer money going after Apple
20 US Government Spending Spree (which contributes to Financial Crisis)
30 US Government (Senate) pressures Apple to pay additional tax
40 Goto 10

You left out "Apple hires former cabinet secretary"
post #29 of 86

So this email wasn't even sent...and the sent version was nothing like it.So they want to burn Apple because of an opinion that Steve Jobs had, which he never even ended up communicating? I gave the DOJ too much credit in my previous post. 

 

Unbelievable. 

post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

You left out "Apple hires former cabinet secretary"

I do have a tendency to leave out points of data that I am not aware of.

Are you able to provide more information on this, and what you are inferring?
post #31 of 86

How can a gun smoke when it hasn't been fired?

 

This 'email' was never sent so it never was an email

 

 

Quote:
email |ˈiːmeɪl|(also e-mail )noun [ mass noun ]messages distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network: reading email has become the first task of the morning | [ count noun ] we received thousands of emails.• the system of sending messages by electronic means: a contract communicated by email.
 

As this was never send but purely a draft it doesn't even qualify under the dictionary definition.

 

If this is the best the DOJ can do they are going to be seriously embarrassed.

post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

You left out "Apple hires former cabinet secretary"

I do have a tendency to leave out points of data that I am not aware of.

Are you able to provide more information on this, and what you are inferring?

He is referring to Apple's recent hiring of Lisa Jackson, former head of Obama's EPA.

post #33 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I do have a tendency to leave out points of data that I am not aware of.

Are you able to provide more information on this, and what you are inferring?

Sorry, was reported here at AI. Hiring for influence peddling is part of the game. Perhaps Al's [Gore] star is fading.

Edit: Realized Al could look like AI.
Edited by ChristophB - 6/12/13 at 8:24pm
post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

He is referring to Apple's recent hiring of Lisa Jackson, former head of Obama's EPA.

AKA - "Richard Windsor", who was even awarded a certificate, go figure.

post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Sorry, was reported here at AI. Hiring for influence peddling is part of the game. Perhaps Al's star is fading.

Gotcha.

Considering the amount of criticism that they've copped recently regarding environmental issues by Google/Samsung shills...sorry...I mean genuine, caring members of the environment-loving public, then hiring an experienced individual from the EPA doesn't first strike me as attempting to exert influence over the government.

If Apple have finally decided to play the same way as many other companies then I wish them nothing but the best.

Fill a quarter of 'The Mothership' with lobbyists for all I care.
Edited by GTR - 6/12/13 at 8:28pm
post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Gotcha..

Yep. Play the game until the game changes. Perhaps Holder is bucking for a chief counsel position. Oh the irony.

Edit: GTR updated his thoughts.
Edited by ChristophB - 6/12/13 at 8:35pm
post #37 of 86
The current DoJ is corrupt as hell? Suck on a long big pile of bullspit. The prior DoJ was Hooverian by comparison.
post #38 of 86
uhh.... why is the claimed "draft" time stamped after the supposedly sent email???

Personally my drafts are prior to the sent, not after.... just saying...
post #39 of 86

and why is there a received date, when something wasn't "sent"?

post #40 of 86

Who are these clowns? Jobs was replying to Cue's email, which states quite clearly: "The other point I want to get is lowering the price while the book is on the NYT Bestseller List. This will be hard to get because they will be losing an additional $1.40, but we should try."

 

In other words, for those with poor English comprehension skills, Eddy was trying to get the publishers to lower their price. Which is the smoking gun that defeats the DOJ's antitrust case.

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