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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    "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.
  • Reply 2 of 72
    captain jcaptain j Posts: 313member
    And in other vital news, the world is round.
  • Reply 3 of 72
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    sacto joe wrote: »
    "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.
  • Reply 4 of 72
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,882member
    Let me get this straight: a reseller with zero market share has so much influence to change publisher's minds?
  • Reply 5 of 72
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 72
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,659member

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 72
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 72
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member



    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.

  • Reply 9 of 72

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 72
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    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." :) :)


     


  • Reply 11 of 72


    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. 

  • Reply 12 of 72
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    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.


  • Reply 13 of 72
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,659member

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 72
    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?
  • Reply 15 of 72
    allenbfallenbf Posts: 993member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 72
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    mhikl wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 72
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    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. 


  • Reply 18 of 72
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,154member

    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? 

  • Reply 19 of 72
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    jd_in_sb wrote: »
    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
  • Reply 20 of 72
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    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." :) :)

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="28156" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/28156/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 149px">

    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.
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