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Posts tagged department of justice

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...

Apple E-Book Price-Fixing: A look back at the $9.99 boycott
August 17, 2013 | 11:22 am

e-bookReading the latest news, it seems as if the actions taken by Apple in its earlier attempts at price fixing have always been obvious. It may come as a shock to some that this has not always been the case. The events that played out at the beginning of the post-Kindle e-book era have been tumultuous at best and downright ugly at their worst.  There was a clear and concerted effort on the part of our country's largest publishers and one of its largest tech companies to underhandedly force artificially high price points on customers. In the past, the story may very...

Judge Cote devises brave punishments for Apple in settlement hearing
August 9, 2013 | 8:25 pm

Apple and the publishers had their hearing before Judge Cote today on the penalties she’s considering imposing. There was more interesting news in the run-up to it, of course. First, GigaOm reports that the Department of Justice filed a response (available here as PDF) to the publishers’ en masse complaint about being punished twice. The response said, essentially, that they don’t want to do anything to the publishers, and all their proposals target Apple. And the DoJ even pointed out how similar the publishers’ argument was to Apple’s argument back when the publishers were settling, just as I did yesterday. And...

Settling publishers object to being ‘punished again’ by proposed Apple settlement
August 8, 2013 | 7:57 am

The schadenfreude just keeps on getting freudier. The Wall Street Journal reports that the five publishers involved in the Apple trial have filed an objection to the Department of Justice’s proposed settlement terms for Apple. The publishers complain that the settlement terms would punish them twice. "The provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the settling defendants by prohibiting agreements with Apple using an agency model," lawyers for the publishers said in papers filed in federal court in Manhattan. ...

Apple protests Department of Justice’s proposed anti-trust penalties, but does it have a case?
August 4, 2013 | 7:49 pm

I’ve been taking the time to read and think about the Department of Justice’s proposed penalties for Apple in the recent anti-trust trial, and Apple’s response complaining that the penalties were too harsh and unsupported by law. There’s plenty of interesting stuff here, to be sure. For starters, look at the DoJ’s proposed penalties. It’s possible I might just owe the Motley Fool an apology, as despite Judge Cote saying she didn’t intend to paint with a broader brush, the DoJ nonetheless does seek at least in some respects to use the results of the trial to extend its...

Apple to Allow Rival E-Book Retailers to Provide Direct Links to Content
August 2, 2013 | 6:41 pm

I didn't see this coming, although in hindsight, I should have. The DOJ and 33 state attorney generals just published their proposed remedies in the Apple price fixing case. Most of it was expected: ending existing contracts with retailers and appointing an external monitor to ensure they don't slip again. But check out this one: "Apple will also be prohibited from entering into agreements with suppliers of e-books, music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple’s competitor retailers may sell that content. To reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy, Apple...

Why Apple is still fighting the DoJ
June 30, 2013 | 3:44 pm

The Wall Street Journal has a look at why Apple is so persistent in fighting the Department of Justice charges after the publishers already settled. It basically comes down to not having its ability to negotiate with other media businesses hampered, not having to get rid of its “most favored nation” clauses in other media sales (it does use them in other areas than just e-books), and not having to put up with government oversight. "Any time there is a monitor, there is someone sticking their nose in your future business and you aren't comfortable," said...

Is anyone still paying attention to the DOJ/ebook antitrust case?
May 18, 2013 | 12:47 pm

DOJ vs. AppleI guess I'd forgotten. Now that all the the publishing players have settled, abandoning agency pricing and returning to the wholesale slums, the DOJ/e-book antitrust case, which popped up again in everyone's news feeds this week, feels a little anticlimactic. The DOJ, perhaps simply because it's what it found, or perhaps because there's no one left to pick on, is framing the last defendant standing, Apple, as the "ringmaster" in the price-fixing suit, according the New York Times. With the case set to go to trial June 3 in New York (and what a fine note on which to end BEA), I find myself wondering: At...

Average price of best-selling e-books on the decline
April 9, 2013 | 11:45 am

e-booksE-books seem to be costing consumers less money. Digital Book World tracks the prices of e-books on the best-sellers lists every week. Last week, the news site found e-books on the lists averaged more than $8 a book. After a week where a new publisher (Macmillan) allowed discounted prices, the average price of e-books on the best-sellers list dropped to $7.21, a record low, according to DBW. One of the more interesting notes from DBW’s research is that $9.99 doesn’t seem to be a popular price anymore. This price point has been reserved for newer popular books and those that retailers can definitely...

Retailers begin discounting Macmillan e-books
April 5, 2013 | 10:04 am

Retailers are finally discounting Macmillan-published e-books - nearly two months after it settled its Department of Justice’s price fixing case. Prices of e-books have been lowered on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, according to Publishers Lunch. This includes books such as Silver Linings Playbook, Killing Lincoln and Ender’s Game. That leaves Penguin as the lone publisher that settled with the DOJ as to not have books discounted. Amazon is still hanging on to “This price was set by the publisher” tag on the site for Penguin books. The Macmillan discounts have ranged from about $1 to $2 off the original price. Silver...