Apple, publishers want ebook trial
Posted on 19 Apr 2012 at 08:23
Apple wants to go to trial to defend itself against allegations that it conspired with publishers to raise prices of ebooks, a lawyer for the firm said in court.
Two publishers took a similar stance in the first hearing in Manhattan federal court since the antitrust division of the Department of Justice last week accused Apple and five publishers of colluding to break up Amazon's low-cost dominance of the digital book market.
The two publishers that are yet to settle are Macmillan and Penguin.
"Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits," Apple lawyer, Daniel Floyd, told US District Judge Denise Cote. "We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that."
The judge scheduled the next hearing for 22 June.
The court also heard that 15 US states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico were in settlement talks with the three publishers. If all 50 states were ultimately to settle, it would have an impact on a separate class action brought by consumers, a HarperCollins lawyer, Shepard Goldfein, told the judge.
"There could be something left of the class, or nothing left of the class," Goldfein said.
The government said the price-fixing took place in early 2010 as Apple was introducing its iPad. According to the complaint, ebook prices went up an average of $2 to $3 in a three-day period in early 2010.
The settlement with three publishers - HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette - will allow Amazon to resume discounting books, and will terminate the "most favored nation" contracts with Apple.
Hachette and HarperCollins also settled with a group of US states, agreeing to pay $51 million in restitution to consumers who bought ebooks. Simon & Schuster is in negotiations with the states to join that settlement, a lawyer for the company said.
The European Commission is also probing Apple and publishers in a similar antitrust probe. It said that it had received settlement proposals from Apple and four publishers - Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Hachette Livre and Macmillan's parent firm.
Stop right there!
What is this, Engadget?!
The title is written in the same confusing, grammar destroying way that Engadget writes it's headlines.
What exactly did you mean?
"Apple AND publishers want AN ebook trial"?
"Apple AND publishers want TO GO TO trial"?
I just scrolled up to see who wrote this article but it says By Reuters, so does that mean it's just copied and pasted from them?
Come on, PC Pro, you can do better.
By ICT_Tower on 19 Apr 2012
Hey, where did my comment go?!
What happened to my comment?!
By ICT_Tower on 19 Apr 2012
Hard to work out...
One can only assume that Apple & its co-conspirators believe that owing to Apple's high profile with consumers, that they will be vindicated by a Jury.
Although Menken's old adage that 'nobody ever went bust underestimating the intelligence of the Public' usually holds true (particularly in USA), this looks like a risky option.
Of course we need to remember that in the USA you tend also to get the 'best Justice that money can buy'. Money is somethjing Apple has plenty of!
By wittgenfrog on 20 Apr 2012
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