Just days after the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and two major book publishers, the Cupertino-based company has issued a public response. Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr said the following on behalf of Apple:
The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.
Based on this statement, it’s clear that Apple is adamantly denying the charges levied against them. The antitrust lawsuit claims that Apple conspired with at least five book publishers to eliminate competitive pricing and increase overall e-book costs in a move that would benefit all parties while sticking it to Amazon.
CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster Inc, HarperCollins Publishers Inc and Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group have all agreed to settle with the Justice Department out of court. Such a move could be seen as an admission of guilt but it’s more likely that this is simply the cheaper of the two routes they face. If anyone has the extra cash lying around to fight an antitrust lawsuit, it’s Apple.
Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, are also named as defendants in the case and have yet to concede. Earlier this week, chief executive for Macmillan John Sargent told the press that his company did nothing illegal and that the settlement terms were “too onerous.”
Image via CBS.