Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Briefings of the day: U.S.A. vs. Apple Inc.

May 15, 2013: 3:51 PM ET

In the DOJ's great e-book conspiracy, Apple is the sole defendant still standing.

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 3.42.56 PMFORTUNE -- The conspiracy case that the U.S. Department of Justice filed against Apple and five book publishers in April 2011 is finally coming to a head.

In the year that has passed, all five publishers have settled. Only Apple had the stomach -- or the wherewithal -- to take the case to trial.

It's scheduled to begin in a Manhattan courthouse on June 3. We plan to be there.

Links to the two sides' final briefings are attached below. A few excerpts:

From the DOJ:

"A preponderance of the evidence shows that Apple, Inc. conspired and agreed with [five publishers listed]  for the purpose and with the effect of raising consumer e-book prices and restraining retail price competition... The conspiracy took root in publishers' disdain for $9.99 e-book prices and Apple's fear of having to compete with Amazon and other e-book retailers on price, and accomplished Defendants' goals of raising prices and limiting price competition'.. Because of its place 'in the center as the ringmaster' of a horizontal agreement among Publisher Defendants to fix the retail prices of e-books, Apple is liable per se under Section 1 of the Sherman Act."

From Apple:

"Apple did not conspire to fix e-book prices. The evidence proves that Apple acted independently, to further its own legitimate business goals, in negotiating agency agreements with the publishers to enter the e-book market. Plaintiffs can no longer rely on mere allegations, faulty assumptions, and unfounded conclusions. That time has passed. Plaintiffs must produce evidence at trial that Apple consciously conspired with the publishers. But plaintiffs fall well short of their burden; indeed, the evidence contradicts their key allegations against Apple."

Those PDFs

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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