Over a year ago, Apple and a bunch of publishers were sued by the Department of Justice on allegations of e-book price fixing. Every publisher since then has settled, but Apple has decided to fight it out in court.
But wait, what is this all about again? Sure, we know that it’s about e-book price fixing, but where does the alleged conspiracy begin? How far down the rabbit hole of e-book price fixing does the Justice Department go? All that information and more can be obtained in the massive slide deck released by the Justice Department today.
The slides contain conversations between Apple and publishers in which the DoJ claims that the company colluded with publishers to raise the prices of e-books. It also contains snippets from Steve Job’s biography that reference meetings with publishers. All in all, it reads like the kind of corporate conspiracies you see in thriller novels.
As for Apple, it holds that it has done nothing wrong. Speaking at the D11 conference last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the case as “bizarre.” He also said that Apple refused to settle when publishers did because doing so would admit that “we did something we didn’t do.”
So, what are Apple’s chances in winning this fight? The odds definitely seem stacked against it with even the judge presiding over the case predicting that Apple will lose. Still, Apple thinks it can win, and that must be worth something.
If you need a refresher course, here’s the slide deck from the Justice Department (courtesy of CNET):