Today, the fourth day of the Apple e-book anti-trust trial taking place in New York, Google’s director of strategic partnerships testified as a government witness. Thomas Turvey, under cross examination from Apple lawyer Orin Snyder, told the court that while the publishers named in the original suit had told him that they had moved to an agency model due to deals with Apple, he also acknowledged that his lawyer had helped him draft his own statement for the court, and that he was unsure of the details within the statement.
In other words, the exact opposite of what a credible witness says.
Apple’s lead attorney continued to cross-examine Turvey, pictured right, who could not remember a single name of any of the publishing executives he had talked to about switching to an agency model, nor any details about the conversations or where they happened. He also noted that the agency model actually helped Google’s own business.
Later in the interview, Turvey said that the publishers had talked to members of his team about the matter. However, in the final moments of the testimony, he moved to saying that the publishers had likely told someone on his team of these facts.
All in all, not a solid witness for the prosecution, providing perhaps the first misstep in the US Department of Justice’s case against Apple. Earlier this week, the CEO of Penguin Books, a publisher named in the initial suit, told the judge that parity clauses in the Apple contract were certainly a factor in their e-books business model, while an Amazon executive testified yesterday that publishers came to the maker of the Kindle with an ultimatum soon after their deal with competitor, Apple.