Apple formally appeals ebook antitrust ruling - does it stand a chance?
Apple on Tuesday filed paperwork with the New York federal court to appeal a 2013 ruling that found the company in violation of antitrust laws regarding its iBooks publishing arrangements with major book publishers. Reuters:
Apple filed its formal written arguments before the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the appeals court to overturn the judgment in Apple's favor, or grant a new trial in front of a different judge.
Apple and six book publishers were sued by the Department of Justice in 2010 over its ebook pricing. Last year Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of collusion with book publishers to raise ebook pricing. Rather than using a wholesale model of selling ebooks, the system Amazon employs for Kindle content, Apple used what's called an "agency model," selling the ebook for the retail price set by the publisher.
That in and of itself isn't illegal, but Apple created a "conspiracy among the defendants" to limit price competition, according to the DOJ. Judge Cote agreed, and put in place an antitrust monitor who Apple calls a disrputive and unnecessary imposition.
In the papers filed on Tuesday, Apple says that its entry into the ebooks market has actually "kick-started competition" in a market dominated by Amazon.com and its Kindle product, rather than stifling it.
But competition with Amazon and Amazon's comparative dominance in ebooks aren't the issues here. The DOJ complaint and the ruling focused on how Apple managed its pricing model with book publishers. And those publishers all settled rather than go to court.
What do you think? Will Apple win on appeal, or are they doomed to failure here too? Sound off in the comments.
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