Following up on the Department of Justice’s revised proposed punishment from Apple’s e-book antitrust case, Apple’s lawyers filed a response this morning claiming the DOJ is trying to give Amazon an unfair advantage on e-books.
Defense attorney Orin Synder said that the DOJ’s 12-page proposal is just trying to find a remedy that will give Amazon a competitive advantage again. Synder had the following to say regarding the DOJ’s proposal that Apple allow App Store developers to sell e-books through their apps without Apple taking a cut:
In the ongoing antitrust case regarding e-book price fixing, the presiding judge has denied Apple’s plea for mercy over the Department of Justice’s ruling proposal. The DoJ found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to raise prices on e-books with the iBookstore, and Apple continues to plead not guilty despite the fact that all of the publishers have settled outside of court.
Not too surprisingly, the five major publishers originally named in the U.S. Department of Justice’s e-book case regarding their collusion with Apple on pricing have now themselves filed a complaint regarding the Justice Department’s proposal to eliminate the use of the agency model in any Apple agreements with publishers for a period of five years.
Publishers like the agency model as it allows them to set prices for e-books, instead of the distributor, as Amazon did before Apple’s own iBooks system launched on the iPad.
The ongoing iBooks antitrust case between Apple and the United States Department of Justice took a very interesting twist this morning when the DoJ and 33 state Attorneys General laid out plans to remedy Apple’s wrongdoings and restore competition to the market.
The DoJ wants Apple to terminate all of its deals with book publishers, and refrain from entering into any new ones for at least five years. It also wants the company to start selling e-books from rivals like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Amazon updated Kindle for iOS today with a new feature that will make purchasing Amazon e-books through your iPhone a bit feature.
The new ‘Free Sample’ feature in Kindle for iOS 3.9 lets users search through Amazon’s catalog of Kindle books, download free samples, and if you like it you can email yourself a link to purchase it from Amazon’s website later.
There’s also a new Bring Your Own Dictionary feature so you add medical, legal, or other translation references to define words while you’re reading. Here are the full notes:
Eddy Cue, Apple’s Mr. Fix-It, leaving a New York courtroom like an OG.
For the past few weeks, Apple has been battling the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over e-book pricing. The federal antitrust trial revolves around the DOJ’s accusation that Apple conspired with the country’s five biggest publishers to raise prices on e-books and stifle competition with Amazon.
Apple’s face for the trial has been its head of software and services, Eddy Cue. The trial has revealed some tidbits concerning Steve Jobs and the early negotiations surrounding the iBookstore. The trial ends today, but the court’s sentence for Apple has yet to be decided.
According to Russel Grandinetti, vice president for Kindle content at Amazon, publishers involved with the e-book anti-trust federal case told the Seattle-based retailer that unless Amazon agreed to their terms, it would have been barred from releasing e-books on the same day as print on Kindle, the wildly popular e-reader device that Amazon sells.
Grandinetti testified today that this ultimatum to switch to an agency model of publishing, in which the publishers set book pricing, came after the publishing houses made deals with Apple for their then new iBooks e-book service on the iPad.
David Shanks, CEO of Penguin Books, testified today that a provision in its e-books contract with Apple played a role in its decision to change contracts with other retailers, like Amazon.com, a crucial part of the US government’s case against Apple in the e-book anti-trust case happening now in federal court. Shanks said that the clause in question was “certainly a factor” in seeking out other retailers to an agency model, in which publishers control prices, not retailers, a model Amazon originally flouted.
In the anti-trust case, the US government is charging that Apple conspired with five publishers to fix prices for e-books between 2009 and 2010. Penguin is the first publishing company named in the suit which also includes HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan.