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Google Executive's Testimony Weakens Justice Department's Case Against Apple in E-Book Price Fixing Trial

ibooks_icon.jpgJust days after the U.S. Department of Justice presented its opening arguments against Apple in the antitrust e-book price fixing suit filed filed against Apple last April, the DoJ called Google's director of strategic partnerships Thomas Turvey to add credibility to its allegation, reports The Verge.

According to The Verge's Greg Sandoval, Apple's lead attorney Orin Snyder began "attacking" Turvey's story, eventually getting him to admit, under oath, that his lawyer helped him draft the statement he filed with the court. He also admitted that he couldn't remember whether he or his lawyer had written the important passages in his statement.

Sandoval says that Snyder was able to further weaken Turvey's testimony shortly after that, questioning the details of his statement:
Under Snyder's questioning, Turvey acknowledged that he couldn't remember a single name of any of the publishing executives who had told him Apple was the reason the publishers were switching their business model. He conceded that the publisher's move to the agency system was important to Google's own business, yet Turvey couldn't remember any details about the conversations with publishers. By the end of the interview Turvey had gone from saying the publishers had told him directly, to saying they had merely told people on his team, to finally saying the publishers had "likely" told someone on his team.
Sandoval notes that before today's witness testimony, much of the trial had been going the government's way and that the DoJ appeared to want Apple rival Google, which is not as significant a player in the e-book market as Amazon or Apple, to "pile on" Apple.

Turvey will return to the witness stand on Monday, with the trial set to last two more weeks. Apple's Eddy Cue is expected to testify on June 13.  Apple has consistently defended itself and has said the allegations are "simply not true."

Top Rated Comments

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19 months ago
Good old google, continuing to do no evil
Rating: 11 Votes
19 months ago
Worst witness ever? Should have kept him on the stand another 10 minutes, he would have said it was all Google's idea in the first place.
Rating: 11 Votes
19 months ago
"Mr. Turvey, is it true you suffer from severe retrograde amnesia"?

"I think so. At least that's what they tell me. The doctors, I mean".

"Okay. Thank you for being honest. So now that that's out of the way, can you, in your own words, explain to me exactly who was present and what was said in Jeff Bezos' boathouse on the 8th of September, 2010"?

"OH MY GOD! I'M IN COURT! WHAT AM I DOING IN COURT? IS THIS THE DEAD PROSTITUTE THING AGAIN? THEY SAID I WAS ACQUITTED! THE DOCTORS, I MEAN! I HAVE SEVERE RETROGRADE AMNESIA"!
Rating: 9 Votes
19 months ago
Good Lawyer.
Rating: 7 Votes
19 months ago
Dude got it handed to him.

From CNET:

"You can't recall the single name of anyone at a single publisher?" Apple lawyer Snyder asked.

"No," Turvey said, which became a common response.

Also from the story:

...At one point, Snyder got Turvey to admit he didn't know if he or his attorney had written certain segments of his declaration...

Duh!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57588145-37/apple-hammers-google-witness-hard-in-e-book-pricing-trial/
Rating: 6 Votes
19 months ago

As for eBooks, I would rather have a paper copy most of the time. Besides, these days, a physical copy is cheaper.

Except I don't really read much anyways.. But when I do, I like paper and ink.


Yes, since you don't do much reading, a hard copy is probably better for you. For someone who reads a lot, it can be quite a hassle dragging books around with you. Not to mention that you can't easily search a hard copy.

I collect leather-bound books (Easton Press) and I love a beautiful book. But, ebooks have many advantages these days, not the least of which is that I don't have to go to a store to get it.

I also teach at a University and try to make an ebook version of my texts available. Kind of sad seeing some student walking with a huge backpack that looks like they could tip over at any moment.
Rating: 6 Votes
19 months ago

I agree with you. What happens if these companies ever go bankrupt or nonexistent? What happens to all "our" books we bought?


Your books won't mysteriously disappear off your iPad or Kindle the moment a publisher goes defunct. Whatever you have on your ebook reader now is what you'll have tomorrow. Assuming Apple or Amazon don't decide to whisk it away from your account for reasons unknown, of course.
Rating: 4 Votes
19 months ago
Boom chica wow wow.
Rating: 4 Votes
19 months ago

google, you're gone...for good...and maybe you're new movie, "internship," will fail as well....


Nah Google is here to stay and their devoted followers will ignore this. In the grand scheme of things this is no biggie but it's pretty funny how unprepared this witness was.
Rating: 3 Votes
19 months ago

Nope. Government taking steps to protect the consumer from the collusion of big business to fix prices rather than to compete. That's a proper function of government, which is better equipped than an individual to do this.

New industries don't form in a vacuum. ebooks had devolved into a one player market where the publishers were being undercut on their own product making it impossible for them to build wide distribution. Would you open a ebook store if Amazon's price is lower than what the publishers wholesale the books to you for? There was something illegal going on, it was the Monopolistic practices of Amazon. The publishers were compelled to go with Amazon originally be cause the were their largest seller of books, Google was already trying to use their works without paying by scanning books and putting them online. The other problem was bootlegs. They trusted Amazon but did not foresee them preventing the market from expanding while undermining their core business. Everyone in this country seems to only want something for nothing, but this is a business and they deserve to make whatever the market will bare.
Rating: 3 Votes

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