Apple’s lawyers respond to DOJ eBook price-fixing case

As many of you probably already know, the U.S. Department of Justice has opened a case against Apple and 6 major publishers over supposed eBook price-fixing. Well, Apple’s lawyers have now had some time to look over the case, and write a lengthy 31-page response. In it, Apple condemns the government for siding with “monopoly, rather than competition,” and then goes on to say that the DOJ’s case is “fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.” It’s fairly clear Apple assumes they will easily get past this.

Ars Technica posted the full 31-page PDF here: Apple’s legal response

Throughout the response, words such as “false” and “absurd” are used quite often, which mimics their statement in April about the case filing, in which Apple said it essentially is breaking monopolies rather than helping start them. Daring Fireball cropped out the following quote from the document that does a good job at summing it up:

The Government sides with monopoly, rather than competition, in bringing this case. The Government starts from the false premise that an eBooks “market” was characterized by “robust price competition” prior to Apple’s entry. This ignores a simple and incontrovertible fact: before 2010, there was no real competition, there was only Amazon. At the time Apple entered the market, Amazon sold nearly nine out of every ten eBooks, and its power over price and product selection was nearly absolute. Apple’s entry spurred tremendous growth in eBook titles, range and variety of offerings, sales, and improved quality of the eBook reading experience. This is evidence of a dynamic, competitive market. These inconvenient facts are ignored in the Complaint. Instead, the Government focuses on increased prices for a handful of titles. The Complaint does not allege that all eBook prices, or even most eBook prices, increased after Apple entered the market.

What do you think? Is Apple in the right? Do you think these comments were necessary or is Apple just venting? Let us know in the comments.


Via: 9to5Mac

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  • TheOneandOnlyAnonymouse

    I find it funny how people in trouble (like when ATT was being hit hard about the ATT/TMO merger, and now with Apple) that the legal teams are more likely to name bash and throw insults and less than professional style arguments at the matter than they are to actually seem like lawyers and be professional. Its kinda like the DOJ is saying “You are doing something bad” and Apple’s response is “Your Mother.”

  • grauiphone

    Bottomline: ebooks are STILL way too expensive! Should be way cheaper, and EVERYONE knows it. :)

  • TheOneandOnlyAnonymouse

     @grauiphone agreed. We all know that an ebook is basically pennies to make. Pay someone a few bucks to scan in a few hundred books. The markup is horrible.