Over the past few years Amazon has risen to be one of Apple’s biggest competitors, but before Apple launched the iBookstore, Apple and Amazon almost struck a partnership that would have allowed the two companies to control both music and books.
At Apple’s trial against the Department of Justice today in Manhattan, Senior Vice President, Eddy Cue, took the stand and testified that Apple had considered striking a deal on e-books with Amazon, but decided to join with publishers at a higher price.
Hypothetically, the partnership could have brought Kindle e-books integration into the iPad (and possibly iTunes), while the iTunes music library would have been used in the Kindle Store.
“Apple considered splitting the market with Amazon in a setup where Apple would control the music market, while Amazon would monopolize books.”
Cue also acknowledged that Apple’s deal with publishers did cause e-book prices to rise on certain digital books, specifically New York Times best sellers, shortly after Apple launched the iBookstore in early 2010.
Apple is accused of conspiring with publishers to raise prices on ebooks in an attempt to monopolize the market. Apple argues that the publishers were concerned about Amazon’s monopoly on the market and came to them asking for higher prices, which Eddie Cue reiterated in his testimony, as well as how the higher prices were good for customers.
They had expressed they wanted higher prices from us. Our consumers were protected by my price points. I thought we were going to treat our consumers very, very fairly.
The second week of the trail concludes today. Testimonies are scheduled to begin again on Monday, and the trial should conclude by the end of the week.