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Posts tagged justice department

The Suicide of Computer Genius Aaron Swartz: Time for presidential peacemaking in the online copyright wars
January 14, 2013 | 10:03 am

After Henry Louis Gates, Jr., an African-American Harvard professor, was erroneously arrested for breaking and entering, Barack Obama spoke up. The President at first overdid his criticism of the police, but in the end played the meritable role of peacemaker, inviting both Prof. Gates and the arresting policeman to the White House for a “Beer Summit.” In time, Sgt. James Crowley even gave Prof. Gates a pair of the handcuffs used on the professor. Now President Obama should help make peace in a separate Cambridge case and consider another “Beer Summit”—in fact a whole series—between copyright lobbyists and America’s librarians, educators and consumer activists. Dead in the copyright...

Some publishers more willing to settle with DOJ than others over e-book pricing
April 7, 2012 | 12:49 pm

The Wall Street Journal has some further news on the putative e-book pricing settlement in the US Justice Department and European Commission joint anti-trust investigation of the “Agency Five” publishers plus Apple. Anonymous sources have told the Journal that three publishers are inclined to settle and two others (plus Apple) are holding out. HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster reportedly favor settling, while Penguin and Macmillan (plus Apple) do not. (Random House, who waited a year to implement agency pricing, was not part of the investigation.) "The companies involved know very well under which conditions we...

Plaintiffs in class-action agency pricing lawsuit contend direct proof not necessary to prove conspiracy
April 3, 2012 | 9:24 pm

Does proving a conspiracy require hard evidence? PaidContent reports that plaintiffs who have filed suit against Apple and the major publishers who implemented agency pricing say in their latest filing that indirect evidence of price jumps and other “plus factors” are all that is necessary, according to a 1939 Supreme Court precedent pertaining to movie studios who fixed film prices. The filing points out a number of events such as several separate deals finalized over just a few days, a trade association meeting when executives from Hachette and Macmillan were seen together in a bar, and the way that...

Justice Department publisher anti-trust investigation proceeds toward settlement
April 1, 2012 | 11:09 pm

Reuters has a report from a couple of anonymous tipsters close to the Justice Department talks with Apple and the major publishers regarding the antitrust investigation into agency pricing. According to Reuters’s sources, the negotiations may be within weeks of reaching a settlement. The settlement is expected to eliminate Apple’s “most favored nation” status, which currently allows Apple to lower its prices for an e-book to match the lowest price the book is available elsewhere. (Though the article doesn’t say whether Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which have a similar contract clause, would have to give it up as...

Departing Justice Department head anti-trust enforcer has harsh words for colluding businesses
March 27, 2012 | 12:15 pm

Although she did not mention any companies or business sectors explicitly, it is hard not to see departing Justice Department antitrust chief Sharis Pozen’s harsh words as aimed at the publishers and Apple who are under investigation for allegedly colluding on e-book pricing: "Competitors can't join together and make agreements on price," she says in an interview. "We're going to stop that." […] "We don't pick business models—that's not our job," Ms. Pozen says, without mentioning the case explicitly. "But when you see collusive behavior at the highest levels of...

US Justice Department threatens publishers, and Apple, over ebook pricing collusion, says WSJ
March 8, 2012 | 12:26 am

Images That's what the Wall Street Journal is reporting, but I can't find anything else about it, at least so far.  Here's what the Journal says: The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple persuaded publishers to change how they price their e-books before the late Steve Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010. Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging...

Barnes & Noble slide show accuses Microsoft of Android patent bullying, seeks Justice Dept investigation
November 9, 2011 | 12:24 pm

Earlier this year, Microsoft sued Barnes & Noble for patent infringement over its use of Android in the Nook Color. (I somehow missed this when it happened, so didn’t know about it when I posted this article more recently about Microsoft’s Android patent licensing deals.) But this week, an interesting new document emerged as evidence in the case: a 29-page slide deck from Barnes & Noble presenting the problems with Microsoft’s patent stance. The site that presented the slides, GeekWire, is down right now (presumably due to the heavy bandwidth demand from all 29 of those pictures being downloaded...

US Justice Department and FTC looking into Apple’s subscription service; EU monitoring as well
February 18, 2011 | 9:21 am

ImagesAccording to the Wall Street Journal, the US Justice Department, through its antitrust division, is looking into Apples terms for media companies who want to sell subscriptions on Apple devices. Evidently the investigation is in a preliminary stage and it might, or might not, end in the Department taking action. Banning apps from linking to external sites "sounds like a pretty aggressive position," said Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute. "It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from." Apple's condition...

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