A federal agency in Russia has ruled that Apple is guilty of fixing the price of the iPhone with third-party resellers and could face huge fines.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service revealed today that its investigation into Apple found that the company’s local subsidiary illegally coordinated the cost of iPhones and prevented sellers from offering discounts.
Settlements work out at $1.57 for the majority of e-books, increasing to $6.93 for New York Times bestsellers. Publishers involved in the suit include the Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster — all of whom were found guilty of colluding with Apple to fix e-book prices.
Apple was found guilty last year of colluding with publishers to raise ebook prices, but now that the antitrust case is being heard by the Second U.S. Court of Appeals, two out of the three appellate judges are starting to see things Apple’s way.
The appeals case kicked off this morning with Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart attempting to compare Apple to a driver taking a narcotics dealer to a drug pick up. The analogy was supposed to make the point that if Apple knew publishers were conspiring to fix ebook prices, it was just as guilty as them for facilitating the conspiracy. However, Fortune reports that Judge Denis Jacobs laughed off the analogy, pointing out that drug trafficking is one of the few “industries in which the law does not look with favor or new entrants.”
The comment drew a chorus of laughs in the courtroom, but Judge Jacob’s concerns went even further, as the the judge questioned whether the government should have even brought the case to court.
Yesterday, the Department of Justice published its case against Apple for allegedly conspiring with publishers to raise the price of ebooks. Now, Apple’s responded, calling the DoJ’s case “bizarre” and saying that they are twisting the words of Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs.