Apple E-book price fixing fiasco: “We want to go to court”

Whilst the quote in the title is paraphrased, this is exactly how Apple plans to tackle allegations they were involved in fixing E-book prices. Reports recently claimed that Apple had colluded with several major U.S. publishers demanding that they adopt the agency method of pricing their E-books. The publisher sets a price, and the seller gets %30. This was a tactic adopted by Apple to stop Amazon cornering the E-book market by selling their title at ridiculously low prices. This lead to a government lead antitrust lawsuit being filed against Apple, and today, Apple have come out fighting.

Apple lawyer Daniel Floyd told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote:

“We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.”

As I’m sure Boromir once meant to say; “One does not simply validate that an antitrust lawsuit is inappropriate”. Convincing the government that Apple isn’t in some way responsible for the $2-3 hike in E-book prices in early 2010 is going to take some doing. In a statement to The Register, CEO of Penguin John Makinson noted:

“A responsible company does not choose a path of litigation with US Government agencies without carefully weighing the implications of that course of action. Nonetheless, countless hours discussing this issue with colleagues here at Penguin, as well as with our parent company, Pearson plc, have not led any of us to the view that we should settle this matter.”

So Apple aren’t the only company who don’t feel like backing down. Makinson claims “The agency model is one that offers consumers the prospect of an open and competitive market for e-books”. Either Apple are being incredibly brave, based on legitimate grounds, or Apple have thrown themselves under the bus.

Whilst Apple are coming out all guns blazing in the U.S., the European commission have received proposals from Apple to settle. This move obviously has nothing to do with the commission’s power to fine Apple 10% of its worldwide turnover.

As I said, Apple are going to have a hard time defending themselves in the face of a substantial amount of criticism. However, the more eagle-eyed readers will note that Apple are quite experienced when it comes to legal proceedings, so the outcome will be interesting for sure. We shall endeavour to keep you posted on the situation, but until then,  leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest iOS news, reviews and rumors.


Via: Reuters, The Register

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  • Giraffe

    Apple and the European Commission are referred to in the plural.  You should amend that.  Thanks!
    ~A reader

  • Tommy

    Please have your articles proofread before you publish them.  Great article, very informative.  But your atrocious grammar was a HUGE distraction!