Apple's Antitrust E-Book Case Enters Appeals, Outlook Good for Apple

by

ibooks-iconLast year, Apple lost a monumental e-book antitrust case that alleged the company had colluded with publishers to raise the price of e-books. As a result, Apple was forced to submit to a cumbersome external antitrust monitor and the company agreed to pay out $450 million as part of a settlement with several class action lawyers and state district attorneys.

Throughout the lawsuit, Apple maintained its innocence, and in February, the company formally filed for an appeal, asking the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the original ruling. In the appeal filing, Apple called the judge's decision a "radical departure" from modern antitrust law.

As of this week, Apple's case is being heard in appeals court, and it appears that things are going in the company's favor thus far. According to a report from Reuters, some of the judges "appeared sympathetic" to Apple's argument that its agreements with e-book publishers were "pro-competitive."

One of Apple's main arguments during the e-book antitrust case focused on Judge Cote's treatment of the company. Apple believes it was treated unfairly because Cote opted to ignore the positive impact that Apple had on introducing competition into the e-book market at a time when Amazon had a 90 percent market share.

Rather than being treated as a new entrant into the e-book market, which would have demanded a "rule of reason" analysis that judged Apple's impact on improving competition in a way that was good for consumers, Apple's role was viewed as "per se illegal" and automatically labeled anticompetitive despite Amazon's large command of the e-book market.

Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs asked a Department of Justice lawyer why it was wrong for the publishers to get together to defeat a "monopolist" that was using "predatory pricing."

"It's like the mice getting together to put a bell on the cat," Jacobs said.

Circuit Judge Debra Livingston also said it was "troubling" that Apple's normally "perfectly legal" contracts were labeled as a scheme. A lawyer for Apple told the judges "We think the conduct here was innovative and pro-competitive." Should Apple win its appeal, it may not have to pay the $450 million settlement it reached in July. If the case is overturned, Apple will pay no fines, and if it's sent back to Judge Cote for a retrial, Apple will pay just $50 million to consumers and $20 million in attorney fees.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
77 months ago

What is this, Fox News?

Everything I am reading, Apple has no chance and the mountain of evidence that the original judge had is very sound.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/65020-can-apple-win-its-e-book-appeal.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=3446655f4c-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-3446655f4c-304719213#path/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/65020-can-apple-win-its-e-book-appeal.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly&utm_campaign=3446655f4c-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0bb2959cbb-3446655f4c-304719213



Good luck Apple and Fast Eddie, tap dancing out of this one.



Are you daft? The case against Apple is weak. Did you not read the appellate judges comments? Even they are finding it hard to believe.

Come back when you actually have read the article and put your anti-Apple, anti-business bias to rest.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago
I never understood what Apple did that was wrong. I still don't. Clearly I am not a lawyer and I am sure there is some strange law that creates a technicality that is being employed. However, for the average Joe (or Jose in my case :D), what makes sense is that Apple came in and provided the first viable option to Amazon. And have prices or competition improved since they were found guilty? No.

I hope this appeal will at least clarify what the heck the crime was in Joe/Jose terms.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago

Appellate judges? It was one of the three.


It was two of the three.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago

But, but, but, a Judge prejudging a case before the trial has started is very bad, isn't?


This is an appeal...they're dealing directly with the DoJ...nice try!

----------

Weak??? They lost the case! That is why they are appealling.
Hhahahaha


Keep drinking the Kool-aide.


If it wasn't weak somehow, there would be no appeal. Please hold the unnecessary laughter when you reply.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago

In a quick snapshot, here goes...

Amazon was selling ebooks, mostly for $9.99.

Jobs and Fast Eddie came up with a scheme to get into the ebook market for their new iPad, without having to compete with price (the last thing they wanted to do).
So they colluded with a bunch of publishers, who didn't like Amazon having so much control, to agree that the price would have to be set at $14.99, no sales, nothing.
If Amazon didn't like it, they couldn't sell the book at the price they wanted to.

And bad news for Apple, they caught Jobs on video admitting to it when asked about how to compete with Amazon, "it will cost the same".

oof.


Why is that illegal? Arguably, they were challenging Amazon's monopoly on ebooks, right?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
77 months ago
Finally some sanity in a courtroom about this case.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...