DOJ accuses Apple and publishers of conspiring again after e-book ruling

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Ahead of a crucial decision on punishment in Apple's e-book antitrust case, the U.S. Department of Justice has accused the iPad maker once again of conspiring with major book publishers to file motions in opposition.

iBooks


Book publishers came to the defense of Apple this week, challenging the DOJ's proposed penalties in its antitrust e-book case. The publishers believe the settlements sought by the department would change the terms of their own respective out-of-court settlements with the government.

But those filings made by publishers in support of Apple drew criticism from the DOJ, as noted by GigaOm on Friday. In a response filed with the court, DOJ attorney Lawrence Buterman said that major book publishers have "banded together once again," making the need for strict regulations necessary.

"[This] only highlights why it is necessary to ensure that Apple (and hopefully other retailers) can discount ebook sand compete on retail price for as long as possible," the DOJ said in its filing.

Apple, meanwhile, is attempting to argue that witnesses from Google and Amazon who testified in the case have "serious credibility issues" that were disregarded. Apple, unsurprisingly, wants a stay on all court proceedings, while the DOJ disagrees.

The DOJ presented to the court its proposed settlement in Apple's e-book antitrust case last week. If the Justice Department has their way, Apple could be required to allow competing e-book sellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble to include links to their own digital storefronts through their official iOS apps ? something that is currently not allowed without Apple taking a 30 percent cut of sales.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise e-book prices in July. Apple has appealed that ruling, and dismissed the DOJ's proposed penalties as a "draconian and punitive intrusion."

Apple and the DOJ are scheduled to meet Friday afternoon to discuss penalties in the price fixing case. AppleInsider will have full coverage.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 156
    jakebjakeb Posts: 555member
    This whole thing is incredibly weird.
  • Reply 2 of 156
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    The DOJ can kiss my ass. Don't they have more important things to do, like running guns into Mexico or lying to Congress under oath?
  • Reply 3 of 156
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member


    The DOJ calls a unified response from the publishers conspiring? Once the DOJ grouped them together as defendants in this case, they are entitled to respond together to the case. If they were not defendants in the case it would be a "Trade Group of Publishers". DOJ needs a good old fashioned smack down. 

  • Reply 4 of 156
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post


    The DOJ calls a unified response from the publishers conspiring? Once the DOJ grouped them together as defendants in this case, they are entitled to respond together to the case. If they were not defendants in the case it would be a "Trade Group of Publishers". DOJ needs a good old fashioned smack down. 



    Exactly.  "Apple, you can't do business with A, B, C, D, or E" ... "OMG, A, B, C, D, and E are 'banding together' to oppose this!"  Idiots.

  • Reply 5 of 156
    Just get rid of the most favored nation clause. That was the crux of the issue.
    As far as punitive measures, make Apple donate money to literacy programs.
  • Reply 6 of 156


    And there you have it. Even complaining about the Department of Justice is now a criminal act.

  • Reply 7 of 156
    scapalscapal Posts: 13member
    The funny thing is that they blame Apple because they are preventing Amazon to sell books at, or bellow cost, arguing it raised the prices for the customers.
    Selling at or below cost is prohibited in many countries because it is anticompetitive for a large company to kill emerging competition by selling at or below cost.
  • Reply 8 of 156
    disturbiadisturbia Posts: 563member
    WTF?!!!!

    I'm wondering if DOJ and Amazon are ganging up!

    Thanks to stupid Amazon, in a few years from now no one will bother writing anymore. RIP books ....
  • Reply 9 of 156
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,543member
    DoJ translation: Apple, we have yet to receive any "lobbying" fees from you.

    Hey DoJ, look into the predatory pricing of Amazon.
  • Reply 10 of 156
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    " the DOJ argued that the publishers have “banded together once again.”

    OK, so the DOJ is admitting that they don't know what conspiracy is. Hint: The fact that several publishers reach the same conclusion independently is NOT conspiracy.

    Not only will this decision get thrown out by the appeals court, but it's pretty clear that the DOJ doesn't even understand how the antitrust laws work, much less how to enforce them.
  • Reply 11 of 156


    Both Amazon and Google have a large presence in DC.  If Apple wants to be treated fairly, pay up.  Learn something from Microsoft and Intel past experiences!  It does not matter if you are right or wrong.  

  • Reply 12 of 156
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,199member


    This is a very dangerous situation for Apple.  This could spread into allowing anyone to sell content (music, books, movies, ty shows, ...) on iOS bypassing itunes.


     


    The only problem in Apple case is its rule of forbitting content providers to sell at a lesser price elsewhere. This is where Apple got greedy and this is why we have a problem right now. Remove that and I dont see how Apple could impact prices elsewhere. The "solution" of the DOJ doesnt makes any sense imo... Apple makes this rule to hide its cut rate, but this wrong in so many levels. Apple bigger cut rate will make content prices higher in iOS ecosystem. Well Apple, deal with it or lower youre cut.


     


    Seriously either those guys are retarted or there is corruption going on.

  • Reply 13 of 156
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,947member
    scapal wrote: »
    The funny thing is that they blame Apple because they are preventing Amazon to sell books at, or bellow cost, arguing it raised the prices for the customers.
    Selling at or below cost is prohibited in many countries because it is anticompetitive for a large company to kill emerging competition by selling at or below cost.

    Forcing everyone to sell at the same price is just as anticompetitive.
  • Reply 14 of 156
    dbtincdbtinc Posts: 134member
    Maybe the DOJ needs to name an independent counsel to investigate itself for its anti-democratic policies and let the public worry about who's ripping who off.
  • Reply 15 of 156
    Wow. DoJ? What are they? The Department of Jokers?
  • Reply 16 of 156
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,947member
    herbapou wrote: »
    This is a very dangerous situation for Apple.  This could spread into allowing anyone to sell content (music, books, movies, ty shows, ...) on iOS bypassing itunes.

    Last I checked competition and choice is a good thing for us as consumers.
  • Reply 17 of 156
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member


    Looks like the DOJ is spying again! How else would they know this?  The IRS will be on Apple next!

  • Reply 18 of 156
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,947member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Looks like the DOJ is spying again! How else would they know this?  The IRS will be on Apple next!

    They made public statements to the DoJ. There was a article about it here just a few days ago.
  • Reply 19 of 156
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    They made public statements to the DoJ. There was a article about it here just a few days ago.


    Yes I know that- but did they state Apple was involved in their executing these statements? 

  • Reply 20 of 156
    murmanmurman Posts: 159member


    DOJ has gone off the deep end now ...

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