Three years ago, Apple was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior centered around ebook pricing and price-fixing. The case was in limbo for years as Apple appealed and tried to fight the ruling, but earlier this year the Supreme Court declined to hear the company’s appeal, putting Apple on the hook for $450 million. Law firm Hagens Berman today issued a press release revealing that payouts will begin being sent to affected customers tomorrow, June 21st.
Well, the e-book case that began in 2012 when the US government accused Apple of price-fixing finally ended yesterday when the Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal. That left the original ruling intact, meaning that Apple is officially guilty of anti-competitive behavior and will have to fork out $450M in compensation.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the correct result was reached in law. Apple did deliberately set out to fix prices, it did strike secret deals, and it did intend to manipulate the e-book market. Emails from Steve Jobs confirmed the government’s claim that Apple struck the deals in the belief that consumers would end up paying more for e-books.
Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99. [Up from the typical $9.99 at the time.]
So far, so good. If you’d brought that evidence to me at the time Apple did the deals, I’d have agreed with the government that the company’s behavior was both illegal and morally wrong. But I’d argue that by the time the case was finally brought to court, it was already abundantly clear that it was not in the public interest to pursue it …
Authors and booksellers back Apple in ebook appeal to Supreme Court, say Amazon should be investigated instead
While the ebook trial may seem like old news now, the case is not yet finally settled. Apple was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior in its ebooks pricing and practices back in 2013, and lost a subsequent federal court appeal – despite some judges expressing sympathy with Apple’s position.
A group of authors and booksellers have filed a motion in the US asking for the […] decision against Apple’s role in a 2010 conspiracy to fix the price of e-books to be overturned […]
The Authors Guild, along with Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble filed an “amicus brief” in the US which asserts that the government’s focus on Apple’s “allegedly anti-competitive activities” was “misplaced” …
Some of the judges in Apple’s appeal of last year’s ebook trial verdict appear sympathetic to the company’s argument that its deals with publishers helped, rather than hindered, competition, reports Reuters.
Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs asked a Department of Justice lawyer why it was wrong for the publishers to get together to defeat a “monopolist” that was using “predatory pricing.”
“It’s like the mice getting together to put a bell on the cat,” Jacobs said.
The court had earlier heard evidence that at the time Apple entered the ebooks market, Amazon held a 90% market share …
The court ruled that Apple was guilty of anti-competitive practices in two ways. First, the company asked publishers to switch from wholesale pricing – where publishers sold in bulk to retailers, who set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set retail prices and retailers took a commission. The court ruled that this reduced price competition …
Apple’s prospects of a successful appeal against the ruling in the ebooks trial may be improved by a brief filed by two economists from Caltech and NYU who suggest that the ruling was in error and call for it to be reversed.
Apple was found guilty of anti-competitive practices on two grounds. First, it asked publishers to switch from a wholesale pricing model – where publishers sold books in bulk and retailers set their own prices – to an agency model, where publishers set prices and retailers took a percentage cut. This, the court found, reduced price competition …