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Posts tagged antitrust

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. ...

Wylie versus Amazon: Idiotic jibes about idiocy
March 19, 2014 | 10:25 am

Long on invective, short on logic. That's how you want your book trade jackals to be, it seems. Especially when they make "millions off highbrow." Highbrow, eh: whoo, classy. Well, Andrew Wylie's brow certainly looks pretty high in the photo from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that graces his latest interview with the German journal about his views on Amazon's new German-language publishing program. This is the man, remember, who dismissed Amazon readers as "fools." And even shorn of the original venom by Goole Translate, he obviously hasn't got any nicer in the interim. He describes Amazon's publishing program as "characterized by...

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...

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...

Department of Justice files objection to temporary Apple antitrust monitor stay
January 24, 2014 | 9:18 pm

The filing doesn’t seem to be on PACER yet, and I haven’t been able to find any other link to the filing, but in keeping with the declared deadline of close of business Friday, the Department of Justice has filed its opposition to Apple getting a temporary stay of the anti-trust monitor. CNET and the Wall Street Journal have the coverage and some quotes from the filing. CNET: "In any event, the district court did not exceed its authority in ordering an external monitor for Apple or abuse its discretion in declining to disqualify the...

Publishing should create ‘new ecosystem’—but can it?
January 22, 2014 | 3:04 pm

What is the answer to allow publishers to compete in the new world of the Internet on their own terms? On Futurebook, author Jeff Norton proposes that the publishing industry should do what the airline industry did in creating Orbitz, or the broadcast TV industry did in creating Hulu: create their own “arms-length new [venture] to offer credible and compelling services to consumers.” He writes: It strikes me that since the major publishers are facing a dominant digital player, there's an opportunity to form a new, arm's length e-reading ecosystem complete with site, device, and apps. ...

Appeals court issues temporary stay of Apple antitrust monitorship pending hearing the appeal
January 21, 2014 | 4:39 pm

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a temporary stay (PDF) of the antitrust monitorship over Apple pending further review by a three-judge panel. As I understand it, this isn’t really a full victory for Apple so much as it is a standard part of the process of appeal; they’re staying the monitorship only until they can hear the appeal in full. At that point they will decide whether it gets a permanent stay. There’s really not more to report than that right now. Even news sources like the New York Times simply follow it up with a...

Opinion filing details Judge Cote’s rationale for denying stay of Apple monitor
January 17, 2014 | 1:31 pm

Ever try to give a cat a bath? That’s the experience Judge Cote seems to be having trying to get Apple to play nice with its court-appointed antitrust monitor. She finally filed her opinion (PDF) on the decision she issued concerning Apple’s move for a stay and removal of Michael Bromwich yesterday. Computer problems at her court had prevented it from being filed earlier (PDF). The decision weighs in at a whopping 64 pages. As with her original decision in the matter, Judge Cote clearly didn’t want to leave anything to chance in the appeal. Over the course...