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US court finds Apple guilty of conspiring to raise e-book prices

post #1 of 153
Thread Starter 
The U.S. government has succeeded in its federal antitrust suit against Apple, as the judge presiding over the case has determined that Apple conspired with book publishers to raise the price of e-books.

Summation
Apple's closing slide in its e-book antitrust case. | Source: U.S. District Court


The decision was handed down by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan on Wednesday. Damages levied against Apple are to follow in a separate trial.

"The question in this case has always been a narrow one: whether Apple participated in a price-fixing scheme in violation of this country's antitrust laws," Cote wrote. "Apple is liable here for facilitating and encouraging the Publisher Defendants' collective, illegal restraint of trade.

"Through their conspiracy they forced Amazon (and other resellers) to relinquish pricing authority and they raised retail e-book prices. Those higher prices were not the result of regular market forces but of a scheme in which Apple was a full participant."

Cote also dismissed the possibility that her ruling will stifle competition in the e-book market. She said her ruling is based solely on events that occurred as Apple entered the e-book market, and she does not "seek to paint with a broader brush."

Closing arguments were presented in the trial last month, on June 20. In its case, the government accused Apple of colluding with five major book publishers to falsely inflate the prices of e-books sold on the iBookstore.

Apple, for its part, denied the charges, and remained steadfast in opposition even as all five book publishers reached out-of-court settlements with the government.

Apple led the charge in convincing publishers to switch to a so-called "agency" pricing model. That prevented content owners from being able to sell the same titles at a lower price elsewhere, without offering the same price on Apple's iBooks platform.

In contrast, the e-book industry prior to the launch of the first iPad was under the "wholesale model" preferred by market leader Amazon. In that model, resellers such as Amazon had the power to set prices, selling titles at or below cost if they chose to do so.

post #2 of 153
Bullshit! The governments case was so damn weak. It was all basically disproved as Apple had negotiated significantly different contracts with the publishers. Can they appeal this?
post #3 of 153

Now that's a surprise considering how Apple's lawyer pretty much dismantled every witness the FTC brought up. I guess the judge is a big Orwell fan where even an e-mail draft (or thought) is good enough to convict.

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post #4 of 153
That closing slide is too funny!
post #5 of 153
Surprise surprise. The government ruling for themselves. This was going to happen regardless of any evidence Apple presented. One way or another the government will get those tax dollars from Apple.
post #6 of 153

No big surprise since the judge basically admitted the whole thing was a show trial early on. It's a case of the DOJ choosing sides in a spat between two big businesses (and the one that had 90% market share on top of it).

post #7 of 153
Time for appeal based on the judge's comments before the trial, if you could even call it a trial. Nothing I read showed Apple was guilty but the DOJ had this one in the bag from the beginning. Too many holes in what the DOJ presented. Hearsay, emails taken out of context. From the judge's point of view, any thoughts can be taken as conspiring even if they weren't voiced to someone outside of Apple. With this verdict, everyone in the world is guilt of everything. Time to find out who is funding these attacks on Apple. Apple wins a jury trial against Samsung and the courts refuse to award any damages. DOJ wins a judge-only trial and I bet the damages will be high and immediately demanded.
post #8 of 153
Big government; as crooked as they are they can't even rule fairly for a company that seems, in many ways, to be a 'friend' of this administration.
post #9 of 153
Land of the free. Home of the brave.
post #10 of 153
I kinda hope apple moves all IP off shore and screws the gov't out of all and any tax revenue they can. Then when asked why, apple can simply show all the BS lawsuits it has had to pay through the nose for. This gov't we have loves taxes but seems to hate those who actually pay any
post #11 of 153
Obviously hiring Lisa Jackson didnt help Apple out here. I hope they stay away from getting in bed with the government in the future.
post #12 of 153
This is far from over.. Apple will appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court..which happens to be a business friendly.
post #13 of 153
I wish Apple would stop doing this kind of stuff, they make so much money why do they need to cheat. I'm a huge fan, but how much money do you need?
post #14 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That closing slide is too funny!

 

Instead of closing the book, I expect that Apple are about to have it thrown at them.

post #15 of 153
I dont think anyone with some brains would give a shit about such biased ruling made by the Government. Makes them look bad.
post #16 of 153
Boom! Hahahaha...
post #17 of 153
Was there ever any doubt? Not about Apple's guilt but about the predetermined outcome of the trial. Now that Barnes & Noble are circling the drain, abandoning the Nook, how long until we have only one place to buy real or electronic books? That place being Amazon.

What a beautiful world it will be when all we have are Google and Amazon to fulfill our every need.
post #18 of 153
This is bullshit. A business trying to ADD competition gets slapped with anti-competition? Give me a break America. What a farce.
post #19 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

 

Instead of closing the book, I expect that Apple are about to have it thrown at them.

 

There are no financial penalties involved with this action, no fines. The hit will come from class action lawsuits sitting in the wings while waiting for this forgone conclusion.

post #20 of 153
This judge was never going to rule in Apple's favor. Not one media outlet thought the DOJ proved their case yet we get a guilty verdict.... What a farse!!!!! Look for it to be appealed and overturned on appeal. We will see how much money Bezos gave to Obama and how many judges that buys you!!!!! Looks like we are going all the way to Supreme Court no matter what!!!

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post #21 of 153
The judge said she was going to rule in favor of "The justice department". No big shock here.
post #22 of 153

Unlike many posters here, I don't blame the judge, I blame the law.

 

I don't think Apple did anything wrong, but I'm not terribly surprised that they (were determined) to have violated some aspects of the law.  Most people here are applying a standard of "what the law should be" rather than what the laws say.  And since we're not lawyers, what do we know.

 

It's like when we watch the Winter Olympics every four years and deem ourselves experts on the rules of short track speed skating and rhythmic mogul ice dancing or whatnot.

post #23 of 153

Damn communist government!

post #24 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlaw View Post

Big government; as crooked as they are they can't even rule fairly for a company that seems, in many ways, to be a 'friend' of this administration.

If you can't play "Chicago politics" with your "friends", well, what's it all about anyway?

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post #25 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-hackintosh View Post

I kinda hope apple moves all IP off shore and screws the gov't out of all and any tax revenue they can. Then when asked why, apple can simply show all the BS lawsuits it has had to pay through the nose for. This gov't we have loves taxes but seems to hate those who actually pay any

I recommend Apple move to Korea or China. Both countries seem to get away with murder without any negative repercussions.

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post #26 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Thomas View Post

I wish Apple would stop doing this kind of stuff, they make so much money why do they need to cheat. I'm a huge fan, but how much money do you need?

Wise up, "Gerald".

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post #27 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Thomas View Post

I wish Apple would stop doing this kind of stuff, they make so much money why do they need to cheat. I'm a huge fan, but how much money do you need?

Cheat? How were they cheating?

The verdict is total bunk. Supreme court, here they come.
post #28 of 153
This isn't justice. It's politics.
post #29 of 153

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Unlike many posters here, I don't blame the judge, I blame the law.

 

I don't think Apple did anything wrong, but I'm not terribly surprised that they (were determined) to have violated some aspects of the law.  Most people here are applying a standard of "what the law should be" rather than what the laws say.  And since we're not lawyers, what do we know.

 

First off, you're right that the law is a bogus law.  It's a law written by communists (literally, back when communism was an up and coming thing) to punish people for "competing". 

 

Your presumption that only lawyers can have an opinions is silly.  The law is not complicated.  In fact, the highest law, the one under which Apple is absolutely innocent, is the constitution.  The constitution does not give the federal government the power to persecute Apple in this way.  That document was written so that everyone could read it.  All laws in violation of it (which anti-trust are) are null and void. 

 

However, given the weakness of the case, the judge is to blame, always.  Whenever the law is bad, it is the judge's job to set aside the law and rule in the moral way.

 

The judge here has committed a profound crime-- has betrayed any oath or claim of fealty to justice. 

 

The only possible service to the people she's done here is to show that government justice is justice denied.

 

She's shown that the "justice" system has been corrupted into a partisan persecution organization. 

 

She's shown that the US government is nothing more than a bunch of mafia-like thugs.

post #30 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

It's like when we watch the Winter Olympics every four years and deem ourselves experts on the rules of short track speed skating and rhythmic mogul ice dancing or whatnot.

It's the same with Olympic tether ball and synchronized running.

Everyone is an expert.
post #31 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-hackintosh View Post

I kinda hope apple moves all IP off shore and screws the gov't out of all and any tax revenue they can. Then when asked why, apple can simply show all the BS lawsuits it has had to pay through the nose for. This gov't we have loves taxes but seems to hate those who actually pay any

 

where exactly you think they would go? Seeing how the EU also sued them (and Apple settled) they would have been in the same situation - unless they went to what ,China?

post #32 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTown View Post
 That would be a serious breach of so many founding principles of this country

 

I suggest you look into some of the things that Holder has done during his time in the job.  He has regularly and seriously breched every founding principle of this country, and the very concept of justice.

 

This is the guy who illegally exported guns to mexico in the hopes they would be used in crimes so that he could use it as a justification for tougher gun laws in america.

 

And that's just one of his crimes. 

 

Leaning on a judge would be trivial in comparison. 

post #33 of 153
I'm the biggest Apple fanboy there is. I had an Apple II in the 80's and the first Macintosh II. I own stock and every single iThing. When e-books started appearing on Amazon, I bought them to read on the Kindle app on the iPad. Since it was no physical item, the prices were amazing compared to the real book. Then Apple added books to it's online store. Then the Amazon prices went up! I'm just saying.
post #34 of 153

The chances of this legal battle being even remotely over are nil.

 

The fat lady hasn't even begun to practice her scales yet, let alone sing.

post #35 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

It's the same with Olympic tether ball and synchronized running.

Everyone is an expert.

That's why we have juries. Apple should have selected a jury trial.
post #36 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

where exactly you think they would go? Seeing how the EU also sued them (and Apple settled) they would have been in the same situation - unless they went to what ,China?

 

There are countries that respect rights and are much more capitalist than the USA, and also going in the right direction.   Which country would be best for Apple depends.  But they're large enough that they'd have their pick and some of them would even pass laws that resolve issues that apple has with them in order to get them relocating.  (much the way US states pass laws to make the tax climate better for company thinking about relocating there.)

 

But, since you mentioned China.  There is hong kong.  The Hong Kong justice system, for instance, would never have convicted Apple of this kind of non-crime.  I am certain they don't have anti-capitalism laws on the books like they do here in america. 

 

Don't fall into the trap of, being an american, and presuming the rest of the world is much worse off. 

 

Many countries are more free and safer than America. 

post #37 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


That's why we have juries. Apple should have selected a jury trial.

 

Apple's case is a slam dunk.  The purpose of judges is to prevent a miscarriage of justice, even in the case of a jury trial. 

 

This "judge" is corrupt.  Thus a jury trial wouldn't have made a difference.  (Juries are more gullible and easier to fall for the government case than a judge is.)

 

Basically, the court was stacked against Apple from the beginning.... as every court in america is stacked against the defendant from the beginning.   The government controls the judge, the prosecutor, the evidence, and even the defendant's lawyer is restricted from defending his client in many cases and ways simply because the government controls whether he can appear in court or not. 

post #38 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

That's why we have juries. Apple should have selected a jury trial.

True, but you missed my joke.
post #39 of 153

The judge warned Apple that it was in their best interests to settle before the trial. I have little sympathy for a company that ignores advice like this.

 

There also seems to be a lot of people in this thread who don't understand that judges often given guidance before cases. It's a sensible way to get sides to settle out of court and save both everyone money.

post #40 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

 

This is the guy who illegally exported guns to mexico in the hopes they would be used in crimes so that he could use it as a justification for tougher gun laws in america.

Holder was cleared of any cover-up as well as knowing anything about this prior to its public unveiling (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/fast-furious-probe-clears-holder-faults-atf-justice/story?id=17274903#.Ud1sMjvVBdJ). Please don't spout off nonsense without backing it up.

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