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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:21 AM   #1
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Apple Found Guilty of Conspiring to Fix Prices in E-Book Trial [Updated]




Reuters briefly reports that a U.S. federal judge has found Apple guilty of price fixing in the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and state governments.
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A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Apple Inc conspired to raise the retail prices of e-books, and said a trial for damages will follow.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan is a victory for the U.S. government and various states, which the judge said are entitled to injunctive relief.
The government had argued that Apple served as a "ringmaster" in conspiring with publishers to raise prices of e-books as part of an effort to change the business model of the industry and weaken Amazon's dominant position in the market. All of the publishers ultimately settled the case, but Apple fought to the end, insisting that it could not admit to doing something it did not do.

A separate trial will need to be held in order to determine damages to be levied against Apple.

We've uploaded the full 160-page decision by Judge Denise Cote for those interested in reading more.
Quote:
The question in this case has always been a narrow one: whether Apple participated in a price-fixing scheme in violation of this country's antitrust laws. Apple is liable here for facilitating and encouraging the Publisher Defendants' collective, illegal restraint of trade. Through their conspiracy they forced Amazon (and other resellers) to relinquish retail pricing authority and then they raised retail e-book prices. Those higher prices were not the result of regular market forces but of a scheme in which Apple was a full participant.
Update 7:13 AM: Unsurprisingly, Apple has announced that it will appeal the decision.
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Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr says Apple didn't conspire to fix e-book pricing and would continue to fight the "false accusations." He says Apple brought much needed innovation and competition into the market in 2010.
Article Link: Apple Found Guilty of Conspiring to Fix Prices in E-Book Trial [Updated]
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:22 AM   #2
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I wonder how much they will have to pay out?
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:22 AM   #3
yojo056
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Really? I thought that case was starting to really slide Apples way...
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:23 AM   #4
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The cost of taking a stand on principle...
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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What? You mean Apple is greedy? Eye opener!
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:24 AM   #6
MacSince1990
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Uh oh. I see Amazon's stock price rising...
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:24 AM   #7
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I always felt it was pretty clear that Apple was guilty.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #8
Boston007
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A win for the consumer

Excellent!

A win for the consumer!
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #9
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This was OBVIOUS after the email from Jobs was released. I am not typically a fan of the word "greedy" to describe companies since they are in business to make money. Unfortunately Apple takes it to a new level, but they have been successful at it.

My guess is that they will pay less than they already paid their counsel.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #10
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If you looked at the evidence (emails, time and date stamps, sequence of events, etc) there was little to no doubt this would not end well for Apple.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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Well, at least part of this lawsuit is over.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:27 AM   #12
Gasu E.
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Unfortunate. A victory for Amazon in its quest for world domination.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:28 AM   #13
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Yes, they did it. For a good reason.

Sometimes you have to take a stand to do what's right, even if you get in "trouble".

BTW, is anyone else sick of all this silly posturing of legal system against Apple? What is the point of all this? Besides making a few rich lawyers richer?

So what if Apple is levied a fine for, say, $20,000,0000. That would EXORBITANT, and yet would have no effect on anything. Apple would argue it down, cut a check, and everyone would move on.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Boston007 View Post
Excellent!

A win for the consumer!
A win for the consumer, up until the point at which Amazon finishes driving out any and all competition.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:30 AM   #15
ifij775
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I don't think Apple really had a chance. You can't fight the government
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:31 AM   #16
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So this is the end of companies being able to hammer out deals behind the scenes. I guess companies collaborating is going to be a thing of the past
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:31 AM   #17
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If I were Apple right now I'd be talking to my accounting department to determine how to compensate for whatever fine they get by no longer going beyond the bare minimum for US tax and copying the model they use in the rest of the world to dodge tax laws, at least until they recover the value of the fine (which I imagine will be large).
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:31 AM   #18
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Where did she get her law degree at? Night School with Luis Tully?

A publisher setting the price for an eBook in the iBookstore is no different than me, as a developer, setting the price for my app in the App Store.

#EpicFail
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:32 AM   #19
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Frankly, from what was reported, it looked like the government's case was falling apart - especially based on the testimony of execs from other companies. Very surprised at the decision.

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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:32 AM   #20
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In the end Apple is still just another corporation.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post
I don't think Apple really had a chance. You can't fight the government
Sure you can. The government has lost many cases.

It was blatantly obvious what Apple was doing.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:32 AM   #22
ifij775
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I chalk this up to "evil company theory", ie companies are evil and steal dollars out of your wallet. Lets sue over that!
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Boston007 View Post
Sure you can. The government has lost many cases.

It was blatantly obvious what Apple was doing.

No it wasn't.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotComCTO View Post
Frankly, from what was reported, it looked like the government's case was falling apart - especially based on the testimony of execs from other companies. Very surprised at the decision.

--DotComCTO
That's because what's reported is never the full details of what goes on inside the trial.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:33 AM   #25
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GOOD!

Excellent news. I doubt the damages will be that bad for Apple and I don't really want to see them punished but what they did was setting a dangerous precedent and it is good to see that corrected.

I was an avid Kindle user at the time that Apple introduced iBooks and their purchasing model and I remember quite clearly the outrage it caused me and many others on Amazon's discussion boards that all of a sudden ebook prices almost uniformly were hiked for kindle users even though we weren't participating in anyway in anything to do with Apple. It felt really wrong and I'm glad the judge agrees.

Damage is still probably already done though. I shop around for ebooks these days since I got a tablet (no more being locked to my kindle) and ebook prices are almost always set by the publisher and exactly the same for all stores. Sigh...
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