App Store’s walled garden could bring antitrust suit

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Does Apple have a monopoly on apps?
Photo: Apple
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Authors ask Supreme Court to overturn e-book ruling against Apple

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ibooks
Did antitrust investigators target the wrong company?
Photo: Apple

A group of authors and booksellers are standing by Apple in its decision to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling stating that Apple conspired to fix eBook prices when it launched its iBook store way back in January 2010.

The Authors Guild, Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble have all banded together to file an “amicus brief” in the United States, arguing that the belief that Apple was taking place in “anti-competitive activities” was “misplaced.”

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Apple must wait until 2016 for tax break verdict

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Yep, Apple's pretty darn valuable.
Apple could have to pay back billions as a result of tax probe.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Having previously said that he expected to receive the European Commission’s verdict on Apple’s Irish tax arrangements by Christmas, Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan now claims that an announcement is likely to be delayed util next year.

The delay in the long-running investigation is the result of regulators asking for additional information from the Irish government, which will take several weeks to gather.

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Germany investigating Apple’s audiobook deal with Amazon

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Apple has another antitrust investigation underway.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s just gotten to the end of its long and convoluted eBooks antitrust case, and now Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is reportedly investigating the company’s agreement with Amazon for purchasing audiobooks.

Apple and Amazon are said to have a long-term agreement in place for purchasing audio books from Amazon’s Audible company to distribute via the iTunes store. The terms of the deal haven’t been made clear.

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Free at last! Apple finally ditches controversial antitrust monitor

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple has finally parted ways with Michael Bromwich.
Photo: Apple

Apple has finally ditched its controversial antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich after two years of what Apple acknowledges has been a “rocky relationship.”

Bromwich was first installed in Cupertino back in October 2013, after Apple was found to have illegally colluded with five book publishers to raise e-book prices in a way that was deemed to have hurt Apple’s competition.

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Apple is ‘its own worst enemy,’ says antitrust monitor

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Is Apple finally free of Michael Bromwich?
Photo: Apple

In what is likely to be his final assessment to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, controversial antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich admitted that Apple is doing well when it comes to antirust compliance — but decided to take a few parting shots at the company anyway.

“Apple has been its own worst enemy,” Bromwich said. “[Its] lack of cooperation has cast an unnecessary shadow over meaningful progress in developing a comprehensive and effective antitrust compliance program.”

Despite the fact that its compliance is “substantially stronger” than it was previously, that is!

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Extra! Extra! Apple wants to keep fighting its eBook price-fixing lawsuit

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This is like a really, really long John Grisham novel.

In a story that would, ironically, make a pretty good eBook holiday thriller, Apple has dredged up its seemingly-ended eBook pricing conspiracy lawsuit — asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling stating that Apple conspired to fix eBook prices when it launched its original iPad and iBook store in January 2010.

Yep, it’s the return of the lawsuit that will never end!

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Apple and other tech companies pay $415 million to settle ‘no poaching’ lawsuit

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
The long-running antitrust lawsuit is finally over.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The long-running Silicon Valley antitrust case that saw Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe accused of conspiring to suppress worker salaries has finally come to an end.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh gave final approval to a $415 million settlement in a ruling on Wednesday. This is an increase of around $90 million on the $324.5 million settlement rejected last year, but far below the $3 billion that plaintiff Michael Devine had asked for in a letter written to Koh in 2014.

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Apple Music is ‘not a slam dunk antitrust case,’ says law professor

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Apple Music was one of 2015's biggest apps.
Harsh terms, but probably not illegal.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Music’s edge over streaming services like Spotify, Rdio and Pandora means that Apple gets to take a 30 percent cut of rivals’ App Store subscriptions — thereby forcing them to jack up their prices or lose money.

It’s the subject of a current FTC antitrust investigation, but according to Rutgers University law professor Michael Carrier, while it may be harsh, it’s probably not illegal.

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U.S. senator backs FTC investigation into Apple Music

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Franken wants Apple investigated.
Photo: Al Franken

It was inevitable that the success of Apple Music was going to have some people screaming about anti-competitive practices, and that’s exactly what happened. Yesterday, senator (and former SNL alumni) Al Franken threw his hat into the ring by writing a letter requesting that the Justice Department take the matter seriously.

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