Apple defense to take over in final days of e-book antitrust case

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
With just four days left in the U.S. government's antitrust case against Apple, the Department of Justice will rest and Apple's defense team will take over this week.

DOJ


Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue first took the stand last week, and will return on Monday to complete questioning from Apple's attorneys. Following that, the DOJ is scheduled to rest its case, and Apple's defense will take the reins.

A list of witnesses scheduled to take the stand were presented on Monday by Apple 2.0. They include:
  • Rob McDonald, head of Apple's U.S. iBookstore operations
  • Eric Gray, director of iTunes operations
  • Theresa Horner, head of digital content at Barnes & Noble
  • A trio of experts are also scheduled to testify about Apple's effect on the e-book market
Apple's defense team will have three days to bring all of its witnesses to the stand. Summations are scheduled for Thursday, after which U.S. District Judge Denise Cote will write her decision, expected to be handed down within a matter of weeks.

The DOJ has attempted to prove that Apple was involved in a price fixing scheme, colluding with five of the world's largest book publishers to falsely inflate the cost of e-books. Apple entered the e-book business in 2010, when it launched the first iPad.

When he took the stand last week, Cue said Apple originally looked to adopt the wholesale model used by market leader Amazon, which allows retailers to price e-books after buying the titles from content owners. But after discussing the terms with publishers, the company decided to instead employ the agency model, allowing content owners to set prices under a most-favored-nations clause, which precluded them from selling the same titles to another reseller for less without offering the same to Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42


    Now things get interesting. Aple has done a good job handling the DOJ witnesses (making fools of some in the process). I can't wait to see what they present.

  • Reply 2 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    While they will certainly put up a vigorous defense (although it's really obvious that there's not enough evidence to convict them, anyway), it really doesn't matter. If they lose, this one goes straight to the appeals court. The judge clearly pre-judged the case.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    jragosta wrote: »
    While they will certainly put up a vigorous defense (although it's really obvious that there's not enough evidence to convict them, anyway), it really doesn't matter. If they lose, this one goes straight to the appeals court. The judge clearly pre-judged the case.

    In case anyone wants to familiarize themselves with the appeals process in antitrust cases. Some of the precedents were established in the DoJ case against Microsoft in 2004.
    http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/speeches/204136.htm
  • Reply 4 of 42
    From what I've heard, it sounds like Apple is in the clear. Unfortunately, I don't think the facts will matter much. In the end, whether in this trial or others to come, Apple will be found guilty of collusion, criminal mischief, murder, larceny, tax evasion, money laundering, drug trafficking, you name it. They'll throw it all against the wall and see which false claim sticks. Whatever doesn't stick will probably hurt Apple's reputation anyway. Kind of like someone being falsely convicted of sexual harassment. They may be innocent but their name is still slightly tarnished.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    james0378 wrote: »
    From what I've heard, it sounds like Apple is in the clear.

    That's my guess.
  • Reply 6 of 42


    Some really superb reporting by Fortune, over the weekend, on why the case might be falling apart for the DoJ: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/16/apple-ebooks-dinner-doj/


     


    AI, can you please get Philip Elmer-DeWitt to write an occasional column for you guys? With both DED and PED on our roster, you'd have a pretty impressive tag-team! 

  • Reply 7 of 42
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member


    Didn't the judge herself already declare Apple guilty? I'm not sure why some people still have hope.

  • Reply 8 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    Didn't the judge herself already declare Apple guilty? I'm not sure why some people still have hope.

    No she didn't.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member


    I could see this going either way. Challenging the government in court isn't ever a sure bet.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    matrix07 wrote: »
    Didn't the judge herself already declare Apple guilty? I'm not sure why some people still have hope.

    gatorguy wrote: »
    No she didn't.

    Technically, she didn't, but she did say in pre-trial that it seemed like Apple was guilty.

    Or, to quote Fortune:
    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/07/apple-ebook-judge-cote/
    It was the first time in four days of trial that the judge -- who in pre-trial statements seemed to have already decided the case against their client -- asked a clarifying question that not only favored Apple, but seemed to get to the heart of its defense.

    The judge's pre-trial statement?
    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/05/24/apple-ebooks-antitrust-judge/
    "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."

    I don't know how she could demonstrate bias any more clearly than that.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    jragosta wrote: »

    Technically, she didn't, but she did say in pre-trial that it seemed like Apple was guilty.

    Yup. She certainly answered a question put forth by the attorneys that she was under no obligation to answer. Personally I read that as a last ditch effort to suggest Apple might consider reaching a pre-trial settlement, a favor to them so to speak.

    IMO Apple didn't need a favor tho as they've done a fine job of leaving enough questions in the DoJ's arguments to get them off the hook.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    While they will certainly put up a vigorous defense (although it's really obvious that there's not enough evidence to convict them, anyway), it really doesn't matter. If they lose, this one goes straight to the appeals court. The judge clearly pre-judged the case.


    No she didn't - her statement has been grossly misconstrued (though Apple might cite it in an appeal if she rules against them). She was asked to make that statement after looking over the preliminary filings. It has nothing to do with the actual court proceedings or ruling on the case - those filings had not been presented in court, had not been subject to cross-examination, etc. As you can see by Apple's cross-examinations, many of those filings were incomplete or out of context, or contradicted by other evidence.


     


    She made this emphatically clear on the first day of the trial, when Apple's attorney brought up the statement. She said strongly that she will make her ruling based solely on the evidence presented in court. I'd suggest waiting for the ruling..

  • Reply 13 of 42
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post







    Technically, she didn't, but she did say in pre-trial that it seemed like Apple was guilty.



    Or, to quote Fortune:

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/07/apple-ebook-judge-cote/

    The judge's pre-trial statement?

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/05/24/apple-ebooks-antitrust-judge/

    I don't know how she could demonstrate bias any more clearly than that.


    People have interpreted her statement to mean a lot more than it actually does.

  • Reply 14 of 42
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by james0378 View Post



    From what I've heard, it sounds like Apple is in the clear. Unfortunately, I don't think the facts will matter much. In the end, whether in this trial or others to come, Apple will be found guilty of collusion, criminal mischief, murder, larceny, tax evasion, money laundering, drug trafficking, you name it. They'll throw it all against the wall and see which false claim sticks. Whatever doesn't stick will probably hurt Apple's reputation anyway. Kind of like someone being falsely convicted of sexual harassment. They may be innocent but their name is still slightly tarnished.


    Paranoid much?

  • Reply 15 of 42
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Some really superb reporting by Fortune, over the weekend, on why the case might be falling apart for the DoJ: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/06/16/apple-ebooks-dinner-doj/


     


    AI, can you please get Philip Elmer-DeWitt to write an occasional column for you guys? With both DED and PED on our roster, you'd have a pretty impressive tag-team! 



    I've been following his stories - it's really the best detailed reporting on the case I've seen. The testimony so far (the DOJ's case) seems to be a lot in Apple's favor - I hope that's accurate.

  • Reply 16 of 42


    TS is still an obtuse piece of flotsam you fucks that can't even trace a proxy.Want to play with me. O.K. Say hello to my little friend.


     


    Riding 10 user name within X minutes.

  • Reply 17 of 42
    Oooohhh, watch out, looks like we got a badass over here.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Yup. She certainly answered a question put forth by the attorneys that she was under no obligation to answer. Personally I read that as a last ditch effort to suggest Apple might consider reaching a pre-trial settlement, a favor to them so to speak.

    elroth wrote: »
    No she didn't - her statement has been grossly misconstrued (though Apple might cite it in an appeal if she rules against them). She was asked to make that statement after looking over the preliminary filings. It has nothing to do with the actual court proceedings or ruling on the case - those filings had not been presented in court, had not been subject to cross-examination, etc. As you can see by Apple's cross-examinations, many of those filings were incomplete or out of context, or contradicted by other evidence.

    Baloney. Her statement was "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."

    That is a very clear statement of her position. She believed that Apple was guilty before the trial began and believed that the government would be able to prove that guilt.

    The only ones mis-interpreting her statement are the paid shills.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    jragosta wrote: »

    Baloney. Her statement was "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."

    That is a very clear statement of her position. She believed that Apple was guilty before the trial began and believed that the government would be able to prove that guilt.

    The only ones mis-interpreting her statement are the paid shills.

    Even tho you meet the condition you set I hadn't ever considered you to be a paid shill.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,291member
    Oooohhh, watch out, looks like we got a badass over here.

    I think that's TS. One account after another all day and part of yesterday ever since he was banned.
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