Antitrust suit update: DoJ wants discovery from settling publishers; court date set for those who did not settle
June 23, 2012 | 1:19 pm
Here are a couple of updates on the DoJ vs. publishers + Apple antitrust suit.
From CNet comes the story of a small legal tiff between the DoJ and the publishers who did agree to settle. Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster—publishers who accepted the DoJ’s proposed terms—have filed papers asking a court to declare them “non parties” to the upcoming lawsuit. This would mean they wouldn’t be obligated to provide discovery—that is, turn over documents and other evidence to lawyers for the DoJ and the publishers plus Apple who are being sued—unless some other party to the case could give “good cause.”
Not so fast, says the DoJ—the settlement agreement didn’t include any terms entitling the three publishers to “special treatment,” and those publishers could still have information the DoJ wants.
"This is, after all, a conspiracy case in which the settling defendants are alleged co-conspirators," DOJ lawyers said in their documents. "There is, therefore, no remotely plausible argument that they are not likely to be sources of highly relevant evidence."
There’s still some dispute over when the discovery process will even end; Apple wants it to end 12/7 but everyone else in the case says they need more time; the DoJ wants it to carry on until March 22.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that we’re going to have to wait almost a year for those parties to have their day in court. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has set a trial date of June 3, 2013 for the first courtroom session.
Well, at least we’ll have plenty of time to discuss it to death in the meantime.