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Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in Companies |

Apple defends court ensuring no set prices for ebooks

Apple defends court ensuring no set prices for ebooks

(Cc) nikkorsnapper / Flickr

Today was one of the first hearings of the case of the Department of Justice (DoJ) United States against Apple, which accused the Cupertino company to agree with the publishers to set the prices of ebooks, rising in value market.

The DoJ filed several interpretations quotes from documents, which apparently discussed ways to raise prices for e-books not only on its platform, but in the entire industry. The firm defended the apple did not act to ensure that the interests of publishers and that their statements had been taken out of context.

This case began in April 2012 , when Apple accused of arranging with five of the largest publishers rising prices of on the market. Apple would have used two methods to accomplish this: the “agency model”, which is the publisher that sets the price, not the seller, and a special clause in contracts where only Apple could lower the to the lowest level that another vendor was selling the same product.

According to the DoJ, the senior vice president of software and services of Apple, Eddy Cue, acted as the head of a conspiracy of this group that made the electronic book prices go up from USD $ 9.99 to the was selling the USD $ 12.99 or USD $ 14.99 we see today.

Using the two formulas above, plus the cooperation of five of the largest publishers in the United States, forced Amazon to raise its prices too. According to the DoJ, publishers have been trying to raise prices above themselves, but had not been successful. The solution to the “problem of Amazon” is mentioned in an email, was Apple.

Apple chief lawyer, Orin Snyder, said the government is out of context quotes and much of them were taken from “introductory meetings and brainstorming sessions”, where Eddy Cue was simply suggesting solutions that publishers join the new iBookstore.

The lawyer criticized the application of antitrust law, since at that time Apple was trying to enter a market that was being dominated by Amazon. He also detailed the difficulties of negotiations with publishers before reaching an agreement, indicating that some publishers rejected the offer.

“Apple needed to launch a business, not a conspiracy,” said Snyder, stating that “the interest of Apple and publishers was not aligned”.

The trial will continue for the next three weeks, where characters like Eddy Cue declare and publisher Penguin CEO David Shanks.

Link: Apple calls e-book price fixing case “bizarre”, says DOJ is being unfair (ArsTechnica)

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