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Apple eyes a court showing over ebook pricing

Wants a trial to defend itself
Thu Apr 19 2012, 10:49

WALLED GARDEN VENDOR Apple fancies an appearance in court to defend itself against allegations of ebook price fixing.

Apple has already defended itself against the allegations by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), and one of the five publishing companies that is mentioned in the case has already raised the idea of going to court. According to Reuters, that is the approach that Apple now favours.

The writing was on the wall. "The DOJ's accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the Ibookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," said the firm when the allegations were raised.

"Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we've allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the Ibookstore."

Yesterday in a court hearing Apple's lawyers pressed for their time in court, saying that the case deserves to be "decided on its merits". "We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that," they said.

Publisher Penguin has already told The INQUIRER that it intends to push for a court hearing and like Apple it suggested that the DoJ's complaint has a loose grip on reality.

"We have had the opportunity to study the complaint released by the DOJ today and nothing in this lengthy document causes us to veer from that position. The document contains a number of material misstatements and omissions, which we look forward to having the opportunity to correct in court."

Three firms, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster have reached settlements with the DOJ, but the US government antitrust lawsuit will proceed against Apple, Penguin and Macmillan. µ


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