Judge In Apple E-Book Antitrust Case Thinks Apple Is Guilty, Even Before Trial Starts

iBooks

Innocent until proven guilty? Not for Cupertino. Apple’s e-book antitrust trial starts on June 3rd, but the U.S. District Judge in charge of the case is already openly expressing her belief that Apple engaged in a conspiracy.

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Denise Cole recently opined:

I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that.

Judge Cole has already read much of the evidence, including correspondence between Apple’s executives and the e-book industry, culminating in the establishment of an agency pricing model with major American publishers, breaking Amazon’s lock on $9.99 e-books. So she’s probably drawing her opinion from that.

Even so, the trial hasn’t started yet, and there’s no jury, meaning Judge Cole herself will singly declare Apple guilty or innocent.

Apple’s lawyer is understandably tweaked.

“We strongly disagree with the court’s preliminary statements about the case today,” said Orin Snyder of the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. “We look forward to presenting our evidence in open court and proving that Apple did not conspire to fix prices.”

Whether Apple is guilty or not, it seems like the Judge in the case would at least restrain herself from making statements on the matter before the trial starts, wouldn’t you think?

  • Ryan6438

    Android fangirl.

  • Samuraiartguy

    RECUSE.

  • technochick

    RECUSE.

    Indeed

  • lwdesign1

    This is outrageous legal behavior! The judge should remove herself from the case for having already formed an opinion. To boldly make a statement to the press that Apple is guilty before the trial has even started is a huge breach of professional ethics and propriety at very least. What is happening in our courts system that this can even occur without there being a tremendous reaction from the legal profession in general? There are laws against pre-judgement and a prejudicial court that could get the case thrown out.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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