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In wake of Amazon acquisition, ComiXology drops Apple in-app purchases
April 26, 2014 | 5:52 pm

Since its recent acquisition by Amazon, people have been wondering what changes Amazon is going to make to the company. The first one came along today: ComiXology is retiring its old iPhone and iPad e-comic applications, and releasing new ones that remove the ability to buy comics as in-app purchases from Apple devices. You have to buy them from the web store now. Unless you’re on Android, in which case the in-app store works just fine. This is, of course, because of that pesky 30% commission Apple enforces on all in-app purchases. Amazon has steadfastly refused to pay...

States rights to damages bode ill for Apple
April 16, 2014 | 6:25 pm

AppleLegal developments around the Apple ebook price fixing debacle are not exactly going Cupertino's way. Most recently, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, to no one's great surprise, returned a negative response to Apple's motion to dismiss the damage claims brought by 33 states of the Union in their previous parallel case alongside the U.S. Justice Department. According to Reuters, the damage claims from U.S. states could amount to some $840 million. "Apple now moves to dismiss the antitrust action filed by the States. Apple contends that the States lack standing to assert their claims against Apple or, at the very least,...

Judge Cote certifies consumer suits for class action in Apple antitrust case
March 29, 2014 | 7:45 am

Calling it a “paradigmatic antitrust class action,” Judge Denise Cote has granted class-action certification to the consumers whose suit against Apple makes up one third of the intricate bundle of cases she is presiding over in the Apple antitrust trial. (The other two thirds are, of course, the actions brought by the Department of Justice and the state attorneys general.) She also denied Apple’s request to disregard the plaintiff’s damage expert, and threw out the opinions of the experts Apple had consulted in regard to damages. Not many surprises there for anyone who’s been following the trial so far. ...

Apple is retiring iPad 2 in favor of iPad 4
March 18, 2014 | 10:25 am

apple is retiring ipad 2Thanks, Nate, for bringing this to my attention. Today, Apple is retiring the iPad 2. The iPad 4 is now the budget full size iPad. $399 gets you a 16GB version. $529 will get you a cellular version I think this is a good move for Apple. I sold my iPad 2 around the middle of last year and upgraded to an iPad 4. I've not regretted it. Both the display and the speed were a significant improvement over the iPad 2. I was surprised they maintained the older iPad for as long as they did. Some have complained about there only...

Apple anti-trust plaintiffs want summary judgment on damages, trial to stay where it is
March 10, 2014 | 1:04 pm

Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly has details on the plaintiffs’ latest filings in the Apple anti-trust case. In brief, the attorneys argue that Judge Cote has enough evidence to decide on Apple’s damages in summary judgment, without needing a trial. It’s already a well-established fact that consumers were harmed; the only question is how much the damages should be, and most experts, including Apple’s own, tend to come pretty close to the same figure on those. They also reject Apple’s request to separate the trials and move them back to their original venues. It’s too late in the game...

New developments in Apple anti-trust trial: Apple accuses Judge Cote of bias; economists file amicus brief
March 6, 2014 | 4:22 pm

Here’s a twofer of Apple anti-trust suit stories. First, from Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly comes the news that a February 21 Apple filing opposing summary judgment in the damages phase has been made public, and it’s pretty clear the gloves are off. Apple is outright accusing Judge Cote of bias, claiming that statements she made in the order denying the antitrust monitor stay suggest she’s already decided what the damages should be. I wish I could find the filing; it doesn’t seem to be in PACER. I’d love to read it for myself. I’m pretty sure this...

Apple files opening brief in e-book anti-trust trial appeal
February 26, 2014 | 7:12 pm

Ars Technica reports that Apple has filed a 75-page opening brief in its appeal of Judge Cote’s decision finding it guilty of engaging in a conspiracy with the publishers to help raise prices. The Ars article has a reasonable summary of Apple’s arguments. Fundamentally, many of them are the same arguments that lost it the case in trial court: it just negotiated the most favorable contract for itself, and couldn’t be blamed for what the publishers, busy little bees that they are, imposed on other retailers. It acted to increase competition by making it possible for new players...

Apple files motion to move anti-trust damages trials to California, Texas
February 25, 2014 | 9:53 am

Looks like Apple is doing whatever it can to flee from Judge Cote. Andrew Albanese reports at Publishers Weekly that Apple has filed a motion to split the state and class-action agency pricing lawsuits away from the Department of Justice trial and move them to districts in northern California and west Texas, respectively. It argues that they had only been consolidated for the purposes of pre-trial activity only, and now that said activity is over, they should get to move back to the districts where they had been filed. (I checked PACER but didn’t find any of these filings there...

Judge Cote assigns anti-trust monitor mediator, warns Apple against withholding documents
February 21, 2014 | 3:46 pm

The Apple anti-trust affair proceeds apace. In the wake of the appeals court decision allowing the monitor’s work to go ahead, Andrew Albanese reports at Publishers Weekly, Judge Cote has assigned a magistrate judge to act as a first-line mediator to resolve any disputes between Apple and anti-trust monitor Michael Bromwich, subject to appeal to her. (It’s the same magistrate, Michael Dolinger, who was also assigned to arbitrate the matter of Bromwich’s fee, so apparently his brief has been widened.) Cote also told Apple it needs to go ahead and fork over all the documents Bromwich requested by February 26th....

Appeals court denies Apple request to stay anti-trust monitor
February 11, 2014 | 11:23 am

The appeals court has issued its ruling on Apple’s request to have the anti-trust monitor stayed in the e-book price-fixing anti-trust trial. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s appeal has been denied. That being said, the appeals court did issue what it saw as instructions “narrowing” the monitor’s focus. The monitor is, the court said, supposed to make sure Apple has an anti-trust compliance program in place and that employees are being taught about what it means and how it works. He is not supposed to rummage around looking for violations of anti-trust or other laws. In the two-page document (PDF), court...

Appeals court exhibits healthy skepticism about all sides of Apple antitrust monitorship dispute
February 4, 2014 | 6:33 pm

One of the things that bemuses me about the Apple antitrust trial is the polarization you get from observers of the case. It seems like everyone (including, admittedly, me) either believes Amazon is a saint and Apple and the publishers are the devil, or vice versa. Nowhere is that more clear than in the coverage of the hearing today on whether to stay the external compliance monitorship. Depending on who you read, either “Apple gain[ed] no sympathy” at the hearing (WSJ, paywalled; get around it with Google News) or “The odds are in Apple’s favor today” (Fortune, with Apple partisan...

Apple antitrust plaintiffs ask for $840 million in damages
February 3, 2014 | 3:43 pm

The Apple e-book case proceeds apace. The class plaintiffs filed a brief asking for summary judgment of damages and putting forward their estimate of the final damage to consumers as being between $231 and $280 million—18.1% of the revenue taken in from e-books during the period in question. With the treble damages, that means Apple could be on the hook for as much as $840 million altogether. Apple has, of course, objected to the estimate, and seeks to bar the testimony of Stanford economist Roger Noll who came up with it. Though, as plaintiffs’ lawyer Steve Berman pointed...