Apple says adverse ruling in e-book trial could have "chilling effect"

By on June 21, 2013, 10:00 AM
amazon, apple, doj, antitrust, justice department, e-books

Apple lawyer Orin Snyder recently suggested that an adverse ruling in the company’s e-book pricing trial would have a chilling effect on how businesses investigate new markets. It would set a dangerous precedent moving forward as companies would be reluctant to negotiate when entering a new market as they have for years.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote reportedly put Apple in the pressure cooker during the last day of the trial. At one point, he asked if it would be a correct statement to say that Apple understood publishers were alright with working together to pressure Amazon. Snyder replied that there was no evidence to support a claim that Apple knew publishers were working together before they proposed creating an online bookstore for the iPad.

"There is no such thing as a conspiracy by telepathy," Snyder noted.

The U.S. Justice Department believes Apple conspired with U.S. book publishers to jack up the price of e-books to help undercut Amazon. At the time, Amazon was in control of up to 90 percent of the marketplace. They did this by purchasing books at wholesale prices then selling them – sometimes at a loss – to help promote their Kindle e-reader.

In contrast, Apple allowed publishers to set the price of books. Under this agreement, Apple received a 30 percent commission on the sale of books but more importantly, government officials say this allowed publishers to push Amazon into a similar model and increase prices market-wide.




User Comments: 11

Got something to say? Post a comment
MilwaukeeMike said:

Snyder replied that there was no evidence to support a claim that Apple knew publishers were working together before they proposed creating an online bookstore for the iPad.

Saying there is no evidence is a far cry from saying it didn't happen.

"There is no such thing as a conspiracy by telepathy," Snyder noted.
Lawyer-speak for 'we deleted all the emails'

And why should we believe what the Apple lawyer has to say about the effect this will have on businesses entering new markets? I'll bet someone from Amazon would disagree, and a 3rd party without a vested interest may have a a different opinion altogether.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

It will have a chilling effect... on apples wallet...

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I'd believe in fairies, goblins & the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow before I believed anything an Apple lawyer said.

umbala said:

Snyder replied that there was no evidence to support a claim that Apple knew publishers were working together before they proposed creating an online bookstore for the iPad.

Saying there is no evidence is a far cry from saying it didn't happen.

"There is no such thing as a conspiracy by telepathy," Snyder noted.
Lawyer-speak for 'we deleted all the emails'

And why should we believe what the Apple lawyer has to say about the effect this will have on businesses entering new markets? I'll bet someone from Amazon would disagree, and a 3rd party without a vested interest may have a a different opinion altogether.

There probably never were any e-mails in the first place. These Apple goons are too smart to leave a trail like that behind. From what I understand, they were discussing the price fixing in person, over lunch.

Of course it's going to have a "chilling effect", on Apple's bottom line! It's funny to watch these big companies about to lose an important case and suddenly they start crying about the ruling affecting everyone. Suddenly it's about everyone, but during their backroom shenanigans it wasn't about "everyone" else, only about Apple's bottom line.

Apple is very uncomfortable in their current position. When was the last time you heard about Apple losing a big lawsuit? They're far more used to being on the attacking end of lawsuits, not on the receiving end. I bet it's leaving a bad taste in their mouth knowing they're about to lose a big case like this.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

In my opinion, an ebook should never cost more than the printed version (yet many of them do), and shouldn't be more than $3.99 tops.

Tanstar said:

In my opinion, an ebook should never cost more than the printed version (yet many of them do), and shouldn't be more that $3.99 tops.

Yep!

MrAnderson said:

Bah!

Chilling perhaps on companies that thing they can work together to control prices.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Why is there no outrage that Amazon controlled 90% of the ebook market before Apple got involved, and that Amazon was selling them at a loss in some cases to promote their Kindle? More people/companies benefited from Apple getting into this market than were hurt. When Amazon is willing to sell books at a loss to promote their hardware, think of how many startups or whatever were prevented from entering that market.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Why is there no outrage that Amazon controlled 90% of the ebook market before Apple got involved, and that Amazon was selling them at a loss in some cases to promote their Kindle? More people/companies benefited from Apple getting into this market than were hurt. When Amazon is willing to sell books at a loss to promote their hardware, think of how many startups or whatever were prevented from entering that market.
This has become standard practice for all the big players in this game. Probably the worst of which is Google stampeding its way into television. It doesn't generate or sponsor the creation of content, yet suddenly it announces that TV can't live without it.

As far as Apple goes, this is still a colostomy bag of a company, which is all pissed off because it doesn't have a share of the market it deems itself entitled to.

What happened, did Apple suddenly get bored with biting that hand that feeds it by suing Samsung?

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Can we also sue Apple for making the average cost of mobile handsets rise? For making notebook costs rise?

Also, wasn't there an email posted on TS showing the convo between Jobs and some publisher about fixing the prices?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Can we also sue Apple for making the average cost of mobile handsets rise? For making notebook costs rise?

Also, wasn't there an email posted on TS showing the convo between Jobs and some publisher about fixing the prices?

You can't sue anybody for anything. Now shut up and break out your credit card.:oops:

I'd believe in fairies, goblins & the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow before I believed anything an Apple lawyer said.
So you've met my therapist then....?

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.