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Apple to appeal e-book decision, maintains company did 'nothing wrong'

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Apple will appeal a federal judge's decision that the iPad maker conspired with publishers to raise the prices of electronic books, with a spokesperson for the Cupertino company saying it has done nothing wrong in its dealings with publishers.

iBooks


"Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations," Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said shortly after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote handed down her decision on Wednesday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We've done nothing wrong."

Neumayr's contention is in keeping with Apple's position throughout the trial, in which Apple was accused encouraging publishing houses to set a base price for their e-books. At the time, the publishers were largely beholden to e-retail giant Amazon, which often sold books at a loss in order to support its Kindle business.

Apple, though, maintained throughout the trial that the Justice Department's allegations were false. The iPad maker held this position even as each of its publishing partners eventually reached out-of-court settlements with the government.

Over the course of the trial, Apple executives took to the stand to deny the Justice Department's claims. Senior vice president Eddy Cue testified that Apple "didn't care" what prices companies set for content sold through the iBookstore. Apple called the case "bizarre" and said that the government's evidence was "ambiguous at best."

Judge Cote, however, found that the government's case sufficient for a finding of liability.

"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."

The grounds on which Apple will appeal are as yet unknown. The company may take issue with Cote's handling of the trial, as the jurist offered her tentative view of the DOJ's case before the trial began. Cote said that, based on the evidence she had seen, it appeared likely that the Justice Department would be able to prove its case against Apple.
post #2 of 70
"Another company’s alleged violation of antitrust laws is not an excuse for engaging in your own violations of law."

So if a person is in the process of murdering someone, you're supposed to just call the police and sit on your hands? Baloney.
post #3 of 70
And in other vital news, the world is round.
post #4 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

"Another company’s alleged violation of antitrust laws is not an excuse for engaging in your own violations of law."

So if a person is in the process of murdering someone, you're supposed to just call the police and sit on your hands? Baloney.

Amazingly distorted abuse of logic - even for you.


Oh, and btw, it was obvious that this would would be appealed if Apple lost - I called it many months ago. When the judge says that Apple is guilty before the trial even begins, there's an obvious bias. This verdict will be thrown out.
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post #5 of 70
Let me get this straight: a reseller with zero market share has so much influence to change publisher's minds?
post #6 of 70
Win or lose, this was bad PR for Apple from the get-go. With the 'lose' verdict, regardless of how it's ruled on appeal, the popular perception of 'Apple was the ringmaster for price-fixing' will stick.

Unfair or not (and I think the DoJ arguments were a joke), that bell can't be unrung.
post #7 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Win or lose, this was bad PR for Apple from the get-go. With the 'lose' verdict, regardless of how it's ruled on appeal, the popular perception of 'Apple was the ringmaster for price-fixing' will stick.

Unfair or not (and I think the DoJ arguments were a joke), that bell can't be unrung.

 

It's more important that they stand up against corruption and injustice, that's doing the right thing, and Apple can be proud of that.

post #8 of 70
As we see again and again in this forum, judges decisions get thrown out all the time after appeal. I won't be surprised if that happens in this case.

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post #9 of 70
Here's a question.
What if instead, Apple had bought the books from publishers, not added its 30% so it could get the books at the same price or lower than Amazon, and gone head to head with Amazon selling the books and undercutting its price whenever necessary. Possibly always keeping 5% below Amazon's price. Apple's reasoning could be that it is supporting its iBook customers.
 
Apple might even offer the extra discount only to members who pay an iBook club membership of $5 a year for the iBook+ app which might include some special features or conveniences regarding free books and books from the public domain.
 
A little messy, perhaps; however, reading seems to be a dying sport but for those who do enjoy a good read, it would be a deal. I'd say Apple would then have had Amazon by the short and curlies.

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post #10 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Win or lose, this was bad PR for Apple from the get-go. With the 'lose' verdict, regardless of how it's ruled on appeal, the popular perception of 'Apple was the ringmaster for price-fixing' will stick.

Unfair or not (and I think the DoJ arguments were a joke), that bell can't be unrung.

Don't agree. Few will care. I haven't heard a single person on the street talk about this. It'll hit the news, people will shrug and forget in a two days.

post #11 of 70
Quote:
Apple said "We've done nothing wrong."

This reminds me of the dialogue from the movie "A few good men"

He says... "We did nothing wrong. We did nothing wrong." :)

Then Dawson tells, "We have to fight for the ones who cant fight for themselves." :) :)

 

post #12 of 70

Apple never operates that way ... They don't do loss leaders. The publishers were angst ridden over the overly low price that Amazon was selling their titles at, eroding the perceived value of their hard cover printings. You're suggesting that Apple to exactly the same thing as Amazon. 

post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by battiato1981 View Post

Apple never operates that way ... They don't do loss leaders. The publishers were angst ridden over the overly low price that Amazon was selling their titles at, eroding the perceived value of their hard cover printings. You're suggesting that Apple to exactly the same thing as Amazon. 

If you are replying to my question, then it was just a question. What would have happened? I know Apple would not do such a thing.

 

My suspicion is that Apple may still have been taken to court doing this, however, Apple could point out in its own defence that Amazon started the model and doing anything other, would have prevented Apple entering the book field.

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post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

This reminds me of the dialogue from the movie "A few good men"

He says... "We did nothing wrong. We did nothing wrong." :)

Then Dawson tells, "We have to fight for the ones who cant fight for themselves." :) :)

 

 

It's odd that it would remind you of that since it's exactly the opposite of that. In this "movie" the part of Colonel Jessup is played by Eric Holder, and Downey and Dawson are the DoJ lawyers. The publishing industry and Apple are Santiago.

post #15 of 70
Calling it 'false accusations' is like saying the judge's verdict was wrong. Can't they get in trouble like they did in the UK where they had to put up an apology on their website?
post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post

Don't agree. Few will care. I haven't heard a single person on the street talk about this. It'll hit the news, people will shrug and forget in a two days.

No, I agree with the previous poster. The average person doesn't have to know specifics...all they need to hear is this on top of the other string of "bad news" related to Apple lately, and it does alter perception.
post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

If you are replying to my question, then it was just a question. What would have happened? I know Apple would not do such a thing.

My suspicion is that Apple may still have been taken to court doing this, however, Apple could point out in its own defence that Amazon started the model and doing anything other, would have prevented Apple entering the book field.

Apple would likely have been dragged into court for predatory pricing if they had done that.
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post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Apple would likely have been dragged into court for predatory pricing if they had done that.

My suspicions too. 

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post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

Here's a question.
What if instead, Apple had bought the books from publishers, not added its 30% so it could get the books at the same price or lower than Amazon, and gone head to head with Amazon selling the books and undercutting its price whenever necessary. Possibly always keeping 5% below Amazon's price. Apple's reasoning could be that it is supporting its iBook customers.
 
Apple might even offer the extra discount only to members who pay an iBook club membership of $5 a year for the iBook+ app which might include some special features or conveniences regarding free books and books from the public domain.
 
A little messy, perhaps; however, reading seems to be a dying sport but for those who do enjoy a good read, it would be a deal. I'd say Apple would then have had Amazon by the short and curlies.

Another comment by someone who has no clue about Apple. Do you really think using a larger font adds anything? 

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post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

As we see again and again in this forum, judges decisions get thrown out all the time after appeal. I won't be surprised if that happens in this case.

When the judge makes public statements declaring that the government will have no problems proving Apple guilty, before the trial, that looks like clear bias. So yeah
post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

This reminds me of the dialogue from the movie "A few good men"
He says... "We did nothing wrong. We did nothing wrong." 1smile.gif
Then Dawson tells, "We have to fight for the ones who cant fight for themselves." 1smile.gif1smile.gif



Not even close. Those two were guilty. Of assault, battery, reckless endangerment etc. the catch in their case was whether they could be found guilty of murder or even manslaughter because they were following orders. In the fictional world of the movie they were not. In the real world they still might have been found guilty even under orders.

Apple maintains they are not guilty of anything but trying to find a balance between customer and publisher without a loss to themselves. That is not a crime in and of itself like assaulting someone.
post #22 of 70

Thankfully none of the pro-Apple people actually practice law, they don't even know what basic Antitrust laws are about.

 

 

Everything below was copied from the FTC's website.

The words in CAPS are for emphasis.

 

The Antitrust Laws

 

"Congress passed the first antitrust law, the Sherman Act, in 1890 as a "comprehensive charter of economic liberty aimed at preserving free and UNFETTERED COMPETITION as the rule of trade."

 

"...Yet for over 100 years, the antitrust laws have had the same basic objective: to protect the process of competition for the BENEFIT OF CONSUMERS, making sure there are strong incentives for businesses to operate efficiently, KEEP PRICES DOWN,..."

 

"...an agreement between two individuals to form a partnership restrains trade, but may not do so unreasonably, and thus may be lawful under the antitrust laws. On the other hand, certain acts are considered so harmful to competition that they are almost always illegal. These include plain ARRANGEMENTS AMONG COMPETING INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES TO FIX PRICES...

 

These acts are "per se" violations of the Sherman Act; in other words, NO DEFENSE OR JUSTIFICATION IS ALLOWED."

 

ftc.gov/bc/antitrust/antitrust_laws.shtm

 

 

 

I can't wait for apple to lose the No Poach Agreement lawsuit.

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post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

Calling it 'false accusations' is like saying the judge's verdict was wrong.

So is filing an appeal. By its nature you are saying the court is wrong.
post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Apple would likely have been dragged into court for predatory pricing if they had done that.

Or not, after all Amazon wasn't.

Oh wait, it's Apple of course they get judged while everyone else just keeps at it. Whatever 'it' is
post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Apple would likely have been dragged into court for predatory pricing if they had done that.

You mean like Amazon was dragged into court?
post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

Calling it 'false accusations' is like saying the judge's verdict was wrong. Can't they get in trouble like they did in the UK where they had to put up an apology on their website?

I don't know if there is precedence for that in the US, but I doubt it. It seems pretty bush-league, frankly.
Edited by LarryA - 7/10/13 at 12:10pm

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post #27 of 70

As I posted back in June:  "Apple was price fixing, its an open and shut case. They helped organize an effort among top publishers to raise e-book prices. The government has a bunch of e-mail, phone calls, and key witnesses that seem to make this a done deal."  etc.

 

At the time, the response was that I was an Amazon shill, a one-post troll, etc.  

Actually all I did was read the news of the day and had a pretty good idea of what the DOJ was presenting.  It simply made sense to me, and obviously to every involved publisher as well, since they all ultimately settled.

 

I expected Apple to appeal, not because their case has merit or they were short-changed during the trial, but simply due to their corporate arrogance.   They have more than enough money to keep fighting, so its no big deal to them.  In the end, they won't acquiesce and they'll never admit wrong doing - they'll simply bow to the verdict and pay.  

post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Another comment by someone who has no clue about Apple. 
Do you really think using a larger font adds anything? 

I apologies for the large font. I wrote it in notes and pasted it in. Will remember to re-size next time. 1hmm.gif

However, to your second comment, the language was quite clear: it was a "what if" speculation which had already been addressed in a next post. One should try to take the time to learn the nuances of language.

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post #29 of 70

I believe Apple here. At least these e-book shenanigans don't seem to of impacted Apple's share price for once.

post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post

Thankfully none of the pro-Apple people actually practice law, they don't even know what basic Antitrust laws are about.

 

 

Everything below was copied from the FTC's website.

The words in CAPS are for emphasis.

 

The Antitrust Laws

 

"Congress passed the first antitrust law, the Sherman Act, in 1890 as a "comprehensive charter of economic liberty aimed at preserving free and UNFETTERED COMPETITION as the rule of trade."

 

"...Yet for over 100 years, the antitrust laws have had the same basic objective: to protect the process of competition for the BENEFIT OF CONSUMERS, making sure there are strong incentives for businesses to operate efficiently, KEEP PRICES DOWN,..."

 

"...an agreement between two individuals to form a partnership restrains trade, but may not do so unreasonably, and thus may be lawful under the antitrust laws. On the other hand, certain acts are considered so harmful to competition that they are almost always illegal. These include plain ARRANGEMENTS AMONG COMPETING INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES TO FIX PRICES...

 

These acts are "per se" violations of the Sherman Act; in other words, NO DEFENSE OR JUSTIFICATION IS ALLOWED."

 

ftc.gov/bc/antitrust/antitrust_laws.shtm

 

 

 

I can't wait for apple to lose the No Poach Agreement lawsuit.

 

You obviously don't practice law either since you seem to have no notion of what the quoted, and particularly the emphasized, text actually means. If you do practice law, you should find another profession.

post #31 of 70

Just admit it Apple got caught red handed along with the five publishers.

 

The judge was not biased as is being claimed in these forums. She was asked by both parties for her opinion on the documents she had reviewed up to that time and she concluded that from what had been presented to that point the government would likely win, she also stated that other evidence could change that. Seems the evidence was not enough to change it so maybe it is just high time you got off you're high horses and just admit that Apple was wrong.

 

If Apple does appeal and lose I hope the remedy is twice as harsh as it would have been and I hope the remedy is harsh to begin with. Apple has become way to arrogant.

post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

You obviously don't practice law either since you seem to have no notion of what the quoted, and particularly the emphasized, text actually means. If you do practice law, you should find another profession.

You are pretty full of yourself. Apple thought they could get away with price fixing and they failed. Now they have to accept their punishment. Hopefully it will be a severe punishment.

post #33 of 70

Yep, you must be right.   We're all simply Apple-haters.  Obviously myself, the judge, the DOJ...  (Does this mean I'll have to sell my Macbook?)  1wink.gif

 

Or perhaps you're the one in denial and everyone else is making an educated decision based on the presented evidence in the case?

 

It's okay to like the products a company makes, yet be critical of decisions that seem short-sighted or surprisingly daft given the pay-grade of the executives that work at the company.    You don't have to be "all in" (aka. "a fanboy"),  having perspective is a healthy thing.

post #34 of 70
If apple were trying to ring prices it sure did not work for the two books I bought from iBooks. Both statistics for dummies and beginning programming in java for dummies were both cheaper on Amazon. If this holds true for other books then how can Apple be complicit in book price fixing when these two e books are both cheaper on Amazon. From what I saw Apple just asked for the best price to buy the books at I.e. a publisher would not charge apple more for the same book as amazon. What Amazon or others chose to sell the books at was still up to them as is evident by the two e book examles I chose. Before you ask these are the only two books I have bought. I think there is a very anti apple thing going a the moment. Basically Apple is not there to bail out failed economies and I think it is about time cases like these were judged by comity. Maybe this one was but the ongoing cases with Samsung seem to depend on the presiding judge at the time.
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post

Thankfully none of the pro-Apple people actually practice law, they don't even know what basic Antitrust laws are about.

 

 

Everything below was copied from the FTC's website.

The words in CAPS are for emphasis.

 

The Antitrust Laws

 

"Congress passed the first antitrust law, the Sherman Act, in 1890 as a "comprehensive charter of economic liberty aimed at preserving free and UNFETTERED COMPETITION as the rule of trade."

 

"...Yet for over 100 years, the antitrust laws have had the same basic objective: to protect the process of competition for the BENEFIT OF CONSUMERS, making sure there are strong incentives for businesses to operate efficiently, KEEP PRICES DOWN,..."

 

"...an agreement between two individuals to form a partnership restrains trade, but may not do so unreasonably, and thus may be lawful under the antitrust laws. On the other hand, certain acts are considered so harmful to competition that they are almost always illegal. These include plain ARRANGEMENTS AMONG COMPETING INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES TO FIX PRICES...

 

These acts are "per se" violations of the Sherman Act; in other words, NO DEFENSE OR JUSTIFICATION IS ALLOWED."

 

ftc.gov/bc/antitrust/antitrust_laws.shtm

 

 

 

I can't wait for apple to lose the No Poach Agreement lawsuit.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

You obviously don't practice law either since you seem to have no notion of what the quoted, and particularly the emphasized, text actually means. If you do practice law, you should find another profession.

 



People can see I know it better than you.

The Judge's summary backs up what I posted.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Judge Cote, however, found that the government's case sufficient for a finding of liability.

"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."

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post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

Calling it 'false accusations' is like saying the judge's verdict was wrong. Can't they get in trouble like they did in the UK where they had to put up an apology on their website?

 

Why?

 

Is this judge taking a job with Amazon, like the UK judge who began working for Samsung shortly after the case?

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post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanading View Post

If apple were trying to ring prices it sure did not work for the two books I bought from iBooks. Both statistics for dummies and beginning programming in java for dummies were both cheaper on Amazon. If this holds true for other books then how can Apple be complicit in book price fixing when these two e books are both cheaper on Amazon. From what I saw Apple just asked for the best price to buy the books at I.e. a publisher would not charge apple more for the same book as amazon. What Amazon or others chose to sell the books at was still up to them as is evident by the two e book examles I chose. Before you ask these are the only two books I have bought. I think there is a very anti apple thing going a the moment. Basically Apple is not there to bail out failed economies and I think it is about time cases like these were judged by comity. Maybe this one was but the ongoing cases with Samsung seem to depend on the presiding judge at the time.

maybe the reason you found the books cheaper on amazon is because the publishers of those books admitted they were guilty of price fixing, and have since reverted to their previous pricing agreements.  Under the agreement signed with apple, Amazon was NOT ALLOWED to price their books less than a fixed price, and apple would be able to buy their books for 30% less than that fixed price.  As apple charges a 30% premium on content, that would mean the CHEAPEST amazon could sell their books was at the same price apple was selling their books.  Under the old agreement, amazon could sell their books at whatever price they wanted to (you know... competition), which meant they could accept a 20% margin and sell their books for less than apple.  

 

The book publishers admitted they were breaking the law almost immediately when the government went after them, so the illegal price fixing scheme wasn't in effect for very long.  The funniest part about this case is watching the apple zealots defend apple here when at the end of the day this will make next to NO difference in apple's bottom line.  Apple has no change of changing to the favorable pricing agreements they wanted, and if they admitted to being guilty at first, there would have been a small slap on the wrist, and a fine (which would likely be so small that it wouldn't remotely impact apple's profits).  Now they're spending millions fighting this case, and they really have no hope of winning (where winning is defined as using the pricing they want).  I just don't see why they're bothering, and I hope that if they're found guilty (assuming it goes to appeal) the judges slap down a far harsher punishment on apple for their arrogance in this matter.

 

Phil

post #38 of 70

Anyone else think this verdict is linked to yesterday's odd announcement that Apple will drop the Amazon lawsuit over use of the trademark "App"?

Surely the verdict of this trial was leaked and was the cause of yesterday's oddly timed announcement. Amazon is playing puppet master here. I think the message is, fight Amazon and you will lose in court.

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post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by philgar View Post

maybe the reason you found the books cheaper on amazon is because the publishers of those books admitted they were guilty of price fixing, and have since reverted to their previous pricing agreements.  Under the agreement signed with apple, Amazon was NOT ALLOWED to price their books less than a fixed price, and apple would be able to buy their books for 30% less than that fixed price.  As apple charges a 30% premium on content, that would mean the CHEAPEST amazon could sell their books was at the same price apple was selling their books.  Under the old agreement, amazon could sell their books at whatever price they wanted to (you know... competition), which meant they could accept a 20% margin and sell their books for less than apple.  

The book publishers admitted they were breaking the law almost immediately when the government went after them, so the illegal price fixing scheme wasn't in effect for very long.  The funniest part about this case is watching the apple zealots defend apple here when at the end of the day this will make next to NO difference in apple's bottom line.  Apple has no change of changing to the favorable pricing agreements they wanted, and if they admitted to being guilty at first, there would have been a small slap on the wrist, and a fine (which would likely be so small that it wouldn't remotely impact apple's profits).  Now they're spending millions fighting this case, and they really have no hope of winning (where winning is defined as using the pricing they want).  I just don't see why they're bothering, and I hope that if they're found guilty (assuming it goes to appeal) the judges slap down a far harsher punishment on apple for their arrogance in this matter.

Phil

Wrong. If Amazon wanted to sell for less, Apple had the option to lower its prices too. Amazon sells ebooks at a loss while undercutting everyone.
post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by philgar View Post

maybe the reason you found the books cheaper on amazon is because the publishers of those books admitted they were guilty of price fixing, and have since reverted to their previous pricing agreements.  Under the agreement signed with apple, Amazon was NOT ALLOWED to price their books less than a fixed price, and apple would be able to buy their books for 30% less than that fixed price.  As apple charges a 30% premium on content, that would mean the CHEAPEST amazon could sell their books was at the same price apple was selling their books.  Under the old agreement, amazon could sell their books at whatever price they wanted to (you know... competition), which meant they could accept a 20% margin and sell their books for less than apple.  

 

The book publishers admitted they were breaking the law almost immediately when the government went after them, so the illegal price fixing scheme wasn't in effect for very long.  The funniest part about this case is watching the apple zealots defend apple here when at the end of the day this will make next to NO difference in apple's bottom line.  Apple has no change of changing to the favorable pricing agreements they wanted, and if they admitted to being guilty at first, there would have been a small slap on the wrist, and a fine (which would likely be so small that it wouldn't remotely impact apple's profits).  Now they're spending millions fighting this case, and they really have no hope of winning (where winning is defined as using the pricing they want).  I just don't see why they're bothering, and I hope that if they're found guilty (assuming it goes to appeal) the judges slap down a far harsher punishment on apple for their arrogance in this matter.

 

Phil

 

There are 33 states ready to launch actions against Apple, along with several class action suits.

 

The several million in lawyers fees is small change compared to what these cases could cost.

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