Google exec's inconsistent testimony weakens DOJ case against Apple in e-book price fixing suit

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday called a Google director to testify against Apple in its antitrust case over e-book price fixing, but the move proved unhelpful at best as the executive buckled under questioning.

Turvey
Thomas Turvey


In hopes of bolstering its case against Apple, the Justice Department looked to Google's director of strategic partnerships Thomas Turvey, who previously stated in written testimony that publishers had told him Apple was the reason they were switching to agency model pricing, reports The Verge.

Apple is being accused of conspiring to fix e-book prices with the help of five major book publishers by using what is known in the business as an agency model, which allows content owners to set pricing under a most favored nations clause. The clause precludes them from selling said content to other retailers for lower prices.

This supposed collusion diminished the ability for other book resellers to compete, including market leader Amazon, the DOJ argues. To show how MFN negatively impacted the e-book landscape, the Justice Department on Thursday turned to Turvey, who claimed to have evidence suggesting Apple forced the publishing houses to move to the agency model.

Once on the stand the veracity of Turvey story was immediately questioned by Apple lawyer Orin Snyder, who slowly chipped away at the Google exec's filed statement.

In his written testimony, Turvey claimed representatives of some of the publishers involved told him directly in 2010 that they were switching to agency because Apple required such compliance in its iBookstore contracts. It came out in court, however, that Turvey had drafted the statement with his lawyers, and the executive was unsure who exactly wrote the crucial allegations.

As proceedings wore on, Turvey's testimony became increasingly unreliable, as he wasn't able to recall the names of any publishing representatives alluded to in the document. The executive also acknowledged that the publishers' switch to the agency model affected Google's business dealings, but failed to remember details of reported meetings regarding the matter.

According to The Verge, by the end of Turvey's interview, he had gone from saying publishing executives spoke with him directly, to conceding they "likely" told someone on his team about Apple's purportedly aggressive tactics.

The DOJ's antitrust case continues on Friday with more testimony from Turvey, and is scheduled to run for the next two weeks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    It doesn't sound like the DOJ prepared their witness very well.
  • Reply 2 of 65
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    [Insert animated GIF of car backfiring]
  • Reply 3 of 65
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,558member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    [Insert animated GIF of car backfiring]

    Ha!
  • Reply 4 of 65
    ybfmiamiybfmiami Posts: 32member
    What a waste of resources this stupid DOJ action represents!
  • Reply 5 of 65


    According to Philip Elmer-DeWitt, the Most Favored Nation clause in Apple's agreement is as follows:


    "If, for any particular New Release in hardcover format, the then-current Customer Price at any time is or becomes higher than a customer price offered by any other reseller ("Other Customer Price"), then Publisher shall designate a new, lower Customer Price to meet such lower Other Customer Price."


     


    As you can see, contrary to what is stated in this article, there is nothing at all that "precludes them from selling said content to other retailers for lower prices.", although this is what the DOJ would like you to believe.  Full coverage of the clause, its author, and its intention can be found at http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/05/apple-mfn-saul-ebook/.

  • Reply 6 of 65
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member


    "I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that." - Judge Cote prior to the start of the trial.


     


    What an absolute farce this is, now hurry up and find Apple guilty you moronic Judge, an appeal to the Supreme Court awaits and that should put an end to this incompetence.

  • Reply 7 of 65
    dmarcootdmarcoot Posts: 191member
    "It came out in court, however, that Turvey had drafted the statement with his lawyers, and the executive was unsure who exactly wrote the crucial allegations.

    Shouldn't that be perjury? He made statement he signed as saying that this was his testimony and then conceded that not only didn't he write it, but what he signed off on was ""likely" told to some else.


    Why wasn't that someone else providing testimony and does he read what he signs?

    Either way, he is not very smart.

    In fact if he had testified under oath what his (googles) lawyers would have him say from his statement, that would absolutely been perjuy

    Lets think about that. Google lawyers would have had this asshat perjure himself.
  • Reply 8 of 65
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/26224/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    It appears that Thomas Turvey's testimony went topsy turvy.

    Bummer.

    As long as the outcome of this investigation changes the fact that I can't buy both Coke and Pepsi at many establishments then I'll be happy.

    Now THAT'S unfair.

    ;)

    .
  • Reply 9 of 65
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,626member
    How does it prevent AMZ from competing? The same AMZ that had 90% market share? All it does is bring more profit to AMZ.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    It's too bad the other publishers already settled. They might have won.
  • Reply 11 of 65
    shadashshadash Posts: 470member


    Absolutely shocking a Google exec would be caught lying on the stand.  


    /s

  • Reply 12 of 65
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    Hopefully the morons at the DOJ will give a complete refund to the pubkishers, and then perue the true criminals in the US - the fincial institutions and healthxare providers.
  • Reply 13 of 65
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member
    This entire case is built on top of a stack of toothpicks, and lies. How fucking pathetic.
  • Reply 14 of 65
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,061member



    Reminds me of that Woody Allen line...


     


     


    Quote:


    Right now it's only a notion, but I think I can get the money to make it into a concept, and later turn it into an idea.



     

  • Reply 15 of 65
    b9botb9bot Posts: 238member


    There case is more than weak, it's pitiful. Amazon did books deals exactly like Apple and yet Apple is somehow liable for what?


    So far they have shown absolutely nothing that Apple did anything wrong or different from what Amazon did. No evidence that they forced deals or anything.

  • Reply 16 of 65
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    jungmark wrote: »
    How does it prevent AMZ from competing? The same AMZ that had 90% market share? All it does is bring more profit to AMZ.

    the operative word is *had* ... alerian can use more market share, now. although i think they've limited themselves by adopting such an extreme vertical stance so we'll see how much they're able to pick up in the coming 18 months.
  • Reply 17 of 65
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,949member
    Orin Snyder handling it like a bawsss.

    Seriously, this guy is worth whatever he charges based on how he's handled several witnesses so far.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,949member
    How come there's no mention of Judge Cote's comment when she adjourned?

    "Let's allow Mr. Turvey to escape so he can enjoy his Thursday."

    Gold, Jerry, Gold.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    robogoborobogobo Posts: 378member
    Shadow of a doubt.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member
    How come there's no mention of Judge Cote's comment when she adjourned?

    "Let's allow Mr. Turvey to escape so he can enjoy his Thursday."

    .... And get ready for Friday's questions ....... ?
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