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Posts tagged department of justice

Authors United to ask Department of Justice for Amazon antitrust inquiry
September 25, 2014 | 6:08 pm

So, Authors United’s latest publicity stunt is to declare they’re asking the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for anti-trust issues in the wake of the continuing contract dispute with Hachette. (Publishers Weekly talks about it here, linking to a paywalled Financial Times article that you can read free by googling “Authors to call for Amazon antitrust inquiry” then clicking the FT article and answering a question.) They’re still in the process of drafting the letter; Douglas Preston says it was leaked “very prematurely.” The letter will ask the justice department’s antitrust division to “examine Amazon’s...

Looking back at Michael Bromwich’s report on Apple antitrust compliance
September 20, 2014 | 5:19 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve had much to say about the Apple antitrust suit. I’ve been a bit busy to write much for TeleRead in general, what with my new day job and things. Nate on The Digital Reader has some good coverage of the main points of interest: Apple Agrees to Pay $450 Million in eBook Antitrust Lawsuit Judge Okays Apple’s $450 Million eBook Antitrust Settlement Amazon Sends Out Email Concerning Apple’s Antitrust Settlement There’s also a new, related case in which three defunct e-book stores...

iBooks to be included with every iOS 8 device; will the DoJ take notice?
June 5, 2014 | 7:05 am

Apart from all the little features it’s swiping from Android (finally, widgets, custom keyboards, and cross-app sharing APIs!), the new iPhone OS 8 includes one little feature that Mark Coker of Smashwords believes will be a “game changer.” For the first time, iBooks will be bundled directly into every new iOS device sold. This might not seem like a big deal at first—iBooks has, after all, been available for four years to anyone who wants to download it—but never underestimate the laziness barrier. People who weren’t that “into” e-books might never have bothered to grab it on their...

Department of Justice to review ASCAP, BMI consent decrees
June 4, 2014 | 11:21 am

The Tennessean reports that the Department of Justice is opening a review of the consent decrees governing ASCAP and BMI, the nation’s two largest performance rights organizations. The decrees haven’t been updated in well over a decade, and the organizations are concerned they haven’t kept pace with changing times and technology. ASCAP wants three changes: first to replace the federal rate court review procedure with arbitration, which they believe will be faster and less expensive (and, perhaps, more favorable to them in negotiations than the rate court has been). Second, ASCAP wants to be able to allow its members...

Apple damages trial delayed to August 25
June 3, 2014 | 8:45 pm

In the wake of Apple’s recent failure to obtain a stay on the damages trial, Andrew Albanese reports at Publishers Weekly, the trial has been postponed again, to August 25. There may not actually be a trial as such after all, however; it’s possible Cote might issue a summary judgment deciding the case without recourse to a jury, or a partial judgment setting a damages floor for the jury to consider. Both parties have asked Judge Cote to consider issuing her ruling before the August 1 deadline for submission of their Joint Pretrial Order, which would discuss what is to...

Department of Justice asks settling publishers, ‘Done any more colluding lately?’
June 3, 2014 | 7:45 pm

The Wall Street Journal reports hearing from “people familiar with the situation” that the first three publishers to settle—Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and News Corp’s own HarperCollins—have received letters of inquiry from the Department of Justice, seeking information about “any recent pricing discussions they may have had with others in the industry.” The rest of the article is basically background reminding folks of the price-fixing lawsuit the publishers settled, and the trouble Amazon is having with Hachette. There’s really not a lot on which to speculate. It does seem clear, though, that given that the publishers are approaching the...

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,...

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...

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...

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....

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...

Macmillan Speaks…once
January 21, 2014 | 6:16 pm

I was clicking around links from my post about Steven Zacharius earlier today when I happened onto something amusing. Or, at least, amusing to me. Back in April of 2012, when John Sargent made his defiant post declaring Macmillan would not settle with the Department of Justice, he posted it via the Tor.com blog, with a link to a website called “Macmillan Speaks” for people who wanted to leave comments. The funny thing is, when I go to Macmillan Speaks now, all I see is that one, single solidary post from 21 months ago. Even his post surrendering to...

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...

Judge Cote denies Apple request for stay and removal of Bromwich as monitor
January 14, 2014 | 10:17 am

Well, that went about as expected. Judge Cote made her ruling yesterday turning down Apple’s request for a stay of, and preferably the dismissal of, its court-appointed anti-trust monitor, Michael Bromwich. She hasn’t issued her opinion yet; I’ll keep checking throughout the day to see when it appears and update the story accordingly. [Update: Rather than update this post, I wrote a whole new one about it.] Reuters has a fairly sparse writeup, but Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly comes through with considerably more detail. The judge essentially demolished Apple’s arguments, noting that Bromwich’s actions were indeed in...

DOJ, state, and consumer attorneys fire back at Apple over antitrust monitor stay request
January 1, 2014 | 11:18 am

Let’s ring in the new year with some news on the Apple antitrust case. Earlier this week Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reported on a couple of matters pertaining to the case. First, Judge Cote turned down Apple’s request to have more time to depose Stanford economist Roger Noll, who was responsible for coming up with the damage figure of $307 million Apple is being hit with at the trial. Judge Cote did say Apple can file a sur-reply stating its objections. The more interesting news, though, has to do with the lawyers for the Department of Justice and...

DoJ fires back at Apple over anti-trust monitor issues
December 16, 2013 | 7:15 pm

Is Apple’s independent anti-trust monitor, Michael Bromwich, overreaching, as we reported Apple claimed last week? Not according to the Department of Justice. Andrew Albanese reports in Publishers Weekly on a recent letter to the court from the DoJ. U.S. attorney Lawrence Buterman accused Apple of trumping up concerns over the monitor in order to help make a case for a stay on the order pending its appeal. “The United States and Plaintiff States have reviewed Apple’s filings, and have spoken on multiple occasions with both Apple and Mr. Bromwich concerning Apple’s objections,” Buterman wrote. “Based on...

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