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Judge denies Apple motion to dismiss states' e-books suit

post #1 of 38
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A federal judge on Tuesday denied Apple's motion to dismiss a lawsuit leveled by state attorneys general over e-book price fixing, allowing a trial that could cost the company up to $840 million to move forward.

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


In an opinion and order, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote disagreed with Apple's contention that 33 states and territories lack standing to pursue the company for damages relating to e-book price fixing.

As part of her decision, the jurist cited legal precedent, as well as her own ruling in March that granted class status to consumers suing Apple in the same case. With Apple's roadblock motion out of the way, 33 states and territories can now join the suit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages as a result of Apple's e-book price fixing, reports Reuters.

Referring to her prior class status ruling, Judge Cote said the following:

Finally, in the related class action this Court certified a class on March 28, 2014. In doing so, the Court carefully examined and rejected each of the challenges brought by Apple against certification. None of those challenges gave cause for any concern that Apple's due process rights are at stake from an effort to obtain damages for its violation of the federal antitrust laws.


Apple argued that due process was being usurped by allowing the states' parens patriae actions, under which state attorneys general represent citizens, without first moving for class certification. The decision to deny is in line with the jurist's prior rulings in the case, including those handed down during the Department of Justice's antitrust suit which acts as a base for subsequent court actions.

The upcoming damages trial, to be heard on July 14, will come almost exactly one year after Judge Cote ruled Apple as liable in conspiring with five major book publishers to falsely inflate the price of e-books sold through the iBookstore.

Following the guilty verdict, the court applied an injunction against Apple requiring the company not enter offending agreements with publishers or other business entities. In addition, Judge Cote installed external antitrust compliance monitor Michael Bromwich to ensure Apple's continued adherence to the law.

It was revealed in February that state attorneys general are seeking $280 million in damages, an amount that could be trebled to $840 million.

post #2 of 38
And. She. Wants. To. Go. All. The. Way!!!
"Building for the future?! They should be running around reacting to the present!" -John Moltz
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post #3 of 38
AI, can you please change the headline -- and future such headlines -- from '(Federal) Judge Denies.....' (which makes it sound legitimate) to 'Denise Cote, Bromwich Pal, Denies....' (which says it all)? Thanks.
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

AI, can you please change the headline -- and future such headlines -- from '(Federal) Judge Denies.....' (which makes it sound legitimate) to 'Denise Cote, Bromwich Pal, Denies....' (which says it all)? Thanks.

also.   "Digitimes rumor say..."

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post #5 of 38
Appeal all the way to SCOTUS already.
post #6 of 38
Maybe the fed and state government should just set the price for ebooks? Better still, set price for everything. Alas, SH wanted to just pay the taxes and be left alone. Not so fast and easy.
post #7 of 38
Ya, that same Cole et al...what's new...just appeal and hopefully, she will get investigated herself by other branches of our government.
post #8 of 38

$840 million!!  How in the world do they come up with this figure? When the iPad came out in 2010, the total industry revenues for the entire year in 2010, was $838 million.  To be clear, this is not profits for so called price hikes. This is total gross receipts (revenue) for every single ebook sold over the entire year.  The states and US government wants Apple to pay a fine equal to every single ebook sold over the course of a year? This is just plain abuse of the US justice system. Assuming they can get away with proving that Apple needs to be fined, the punishment does not fit the crime. With these kinds of fines, it is not Apple who will be commiting a crime. 


Edited by snova - 4/15/14 at 9:04pm
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post #9 of 38

So what does it take to get this appeal heard before an impartial Judge?

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by iBill View Post
 

So what does it take to get this appeal heard before an impartial Judge?

paying more taxes or spending more to lobby congress.  seriously, this is what this is about. 

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post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by snova View Post

paying more taxes or spending more to lobby congress.  seriously, this is what this is about. 

 



Sadly, I agree with you 100%. It has nothing whatsoever to do with justice.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A federal judge on Tuesday denied Apple's motion to dismiss a lawsuit leveled by state attorneys general over e-book price fixing, allowing a trial that could cost the company up to $840 million to move forward.
 
 
 

Why you stupid judge why! how much did amazon paid u to look the other way and ignore the fact that amazon blatantly copies Apple

 

But nooooooooo for u is important who raises prices...well gues what everyone who works in bussiness inclunding AMazon did it first

 

Who the hecjk is amazon did they invented books?

 

 

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post #13 of 38

No news here. When Apple gets to the appeal, that's when things will count. Of course Cote isn't going to dismiss the case, and Apple knew this. But they have to file the paperwork anyway.

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post #14 of 38
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post
When Apple gets to the appeal

 

Who says she won’t just rule with prejudice and prevent Apple from appealing?

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #15 of 38

 

This sounds like such a scam.

 

How can a judge appoint their friend to monitor Apple? The whole thing sounds corrupt. Isn't there something called conflict of interest?

post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Who says she won’t just rule with prejudice and prevent Apple from appealing?

Sue the judge!

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post #17 of 38
I'm pretty unaware of the US system as a foreigner but... Hum... Do you guys only have one judge for each state? How come that the same human being can be responsible for such decision in two major case for the same company? No protection at all against personal vendetta?
post #18 of 38

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

 

This sounds like such a scam.

 

How can a judge appoint their friend to monitor Apple? The whole thing sounds corrupt. Isn't there something called conflict of interest?

 

I kind of pictured her like this:

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post #19 of 38

The wicked witch of the East and her faithful sidekick, strike again.

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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by snova View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

AI, can you please change the headline -- and future such headlines -- from '(Federal) Judge Denies.....' (which makes it sound legitimate) to 'Denise Cote, Bromwich Pal, Denies....' (which says it all)? Thanks.
also.   "Digitimes rumor say..."

But all this pales in comparison to "Noted analyst (you know who)...." lol.gif
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


This sounds like such a scam.

How can a judge appoint their friend to monitor Apple? The whole thing sounds corrupt. Isn't there something called conflict of interest?

I think the entire "friends" claim is based on a letter she sent to the Senate endorsing him as Pres. Clinton's next Inspector General for the Justice Dept in 1994.

Anyway, stumbled on a detailed description of why the Bromwich monitoring started out so shaky. He did seem overly anxious to get things underway. I can see why the two sides almost immediately started butting heads based on this report.
http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2013/12/02/apple-ebook-court-monitor/?iid=HP_River
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #22 of 38
Lawyers nationwide rejoice. Was there ever a class action that benefited victims?
post #23 of 38
Of course it was Cote. And of course she ruled against Apple. More and more it seems like she's ruled every case and possible case against them as guilty before they are even filed.

They need to get above her, especially over those guilty comments before the trial started.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #24 of 38
Next trial against Samsung by Apple needs to be moved to that oh-so-famous Eastern District of Texas. Aren't their lawyers thinking strategically? Easy win!

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post #25 of 38
I look forward to my check and not an iTunes gift card.
 
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post #26 of 38
Question - I've been following all this ebook fixing accusations from Apple, and being an average consumer that spends a good amount on digital media including ebooks, I just don't get what set this judge off on due course to call what apple did as a monopoly or price fixing scheme.

I didn't extensively read into the court documentation that was public. But was the key to it all the favored nations clause?

I mean really, all these "damages" and dollar amounts being thrown... When I didn't see a damn thing wrong.

Maybe I'm too biased to realize Apples wrong in this. But. I feel this judge truly has a stick up her ass when it comes to Apple.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by josephwinters View Post

Question - I've been following all this ebook fixing accusations from Apple, and being an average consumer that spends a good amount on digital media including ebooks, I just don't get what set this judge off on due course to call what apple did as a monopoly or price fixing scheme.

I didn't extensively read into the court documentation that was public. But was the key to it all the favored nations clause?

I mean really, all these "damages" and dollar amounts being thrown... When I didn't see a damn thing wrong.

Maybe I'm too biased to realize Apples wrong in this. But. I feel this judge truly has a stick up her ass when it comes to Apple.

Were you a consumer of all things digital before Apple's iBooks? Weren't you p'd off when your eBook price jumped from $9.99 to $14.99 per book?
 
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post #28 of 38
I didn't really notice I suppose.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Were you a consumer of all things digital before Apple's iBooks? Weren't you p'd off when your eBook price jumped from $9.99 to $14.99 per book?

What you and the judge dont realize was the average price for an ebook dropped. In addition, price isn't the only factor to consider for anti trust purposes.
Edited by jungmark - 4/16/14 at 1:48pm
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

I look forward to my check and not an iTunes gift card.

 

Weren't you already paid out by the publishers?

 

Maybe you got scared by $2 and got psychological damage.

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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post


Were you a consumer of all things digital before Apple's iBooks? Weren't you p'd off when your eBook price jumped from $9.99 to $14.99 per book?

 

Nope.

 

Do you go nuts when gas goes up?

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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The upcoming damages trial, to be heard on July 14, will come almost exactly one year after Judge Cote ruled Apple as liable in conspiring with five major book publishers to falsely inflate the price of e-books sold through the iBookstore.

Following the guilty verdict, the court applied an injunction against Apple requiring the company not enter offending agreements with publishers or other business entities. In addition, Judge Cote installed external antitrust compliance monitor Michael Bromwich to ensure Apple's continued adherence to the law.

It was revealed in February that state attorneys general are seeking $280 million in damages, an amount that could be trebled to $840 million.

 

I can't believe the fanboyism in this thread. People are screaming about basic legal concepts like trebled damages above the original damages and making it sound like it is someone working against Apple when these are regular parts of lawsuits.

 

Apple was wrong. Point blank it has been proven a half dozen ways and can be grasped by anyone with reasonable and rational understanding of the matter. Apple was helping publishers push up the price of e-books not just so that publishers would profit more and so would Apple with their cut. They would also limit price competition by Amazon, and also prop up the price of hardcover books as well which was the whole intention of taking action in the first place.

 

It keeps getting bigger and the probability of the damages being trebled goes higher because Apple is dragging this out. It is no different than what Samsung is doing to Apple in reverse regarding the lawsuit there. When you are clearly wrong, the more you make the pain of getting justice out of it, the higher the damages above the regular ruling for damages.

 

This would be easy to understand if it weren't Apple as a party. If someone owed Apple say a billion dollars and Apple had to drag them through courts for half a decade and spends hundred of millions to get that billion in damages. Then every person here would say Apple deserved well above that billion because the other party just dragged it out hoping to get some advantage in making it as painful as possible.

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post #33 of 38
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Apple was wrong.

 

Nope.

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post #34 of 38
So if Apple demonstrates the fact that the average price of ebooks actually went down, does that mean the plaintiffs will have to pay Apple?
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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So if Apple demonstrates the fact that the average price of ebooks actually went down, does that mean the plaintiffs will have to pay Apple?

Whatever best delivers the government their pound of flesh.

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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Apple was wrong.

 

Nope.

 

Yep. While you have your opinion. I have a judgement backing my view.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So if Apple demonstrates the fact that the average price of ebooks actually went down, does that mean the plaintiffs will have to pay Apple?

 

No because as I mentioned, that was only part of the issue. Limiting the competition in the e-book field had a two fold purpose, push up the price of certain books (averages don't matter because the average book doesn't count for the majority of profits or sales) and second use those prices to support the sale of hard cover books.

 

If Samsung stole from Apple and noted that there weren't real damages because the AVERAGE level of profit for a smartphone company is next to nil, I'm sure you wouldn't see the value of using averages there. The majority of sales and profits do not come from AVERAGES. Apple is living proof of that.

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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

 

Yep. While you have your opinion. I have a judgement backing my view.

 



And I have actual laws backing mine. I don’t care what your “judgment” says.
Edited by Tallest Skil - 4/19/14 at 1:21pm

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 #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

 

Yep. While you have your opinion. I have a judgement backing my view.

 



And I have actual laws backing mine. I don’t care what your “judgment” says.
until the appeal is heard and any judgement is vacated his view has more weight. Currently as it stands Apple is guilty. It doesn't matter what anyone else's viewpoint is, what arguement they use. In law Apple is guilty.
Time will tell if they get the reversal they want.
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