Walter Isaacson, the author of the best-selling biography about Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, will not have to share his notes or testify in an ongoing lawsuit over alleged eBook price fixing between Apple and book publishers.
Lawyers wanted to see Isaacson’s notes from interviews with Jobs in an effort to establish Apple’s agreements with publishers, but Isaacson refused to hand them over, citing a New York law that allows journalists to shield their sources.
The lawyers want Apple to pay for its alleged part in a price fixing scheme related to eBooks sold in its iBookstore.
Last August, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin for attempting to overthrow Amazon’s hegemony on eBooks by collaborating to standardize how much is charged for digital titles.
They also subpoenaed Isaacson and wanted to see the notes he made from interviews with Jobs, arguing that the reporters’ shield did not apply in this case. But paidContent has obtained new court documents that show the parties have agreed to drop Isaacson from the case.
Apple and Steve Jobs, on the other hand, are still very much at the heart of the complaint. All five publishers have agreed to settle with the DoJ since the lawsuit was filed, but Apple won’t back down, and the Cupertino company is rejecting the accusations that it formed a conspiracy to raise book prices and lure publishers away from Amazon’s Kindle.
One of the court documents is an email exchange between Jobs and James Murdoch, a senior executive at News Corp’s HarperCollins, which discusses eBook pricing. You can read it below.