Apple officially appeals in ebook pricing case

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Apple has filed its appeal against federal judge Denise Cote’s verdict in the ebook pricing case. Apple seeks to overturn Judge Cote’s July verdict that it conspired with publishers to fix ebook prices, as well as the September 6 injunction that prohibits Apple from including most-favored-nation clauses in its ebook contracts for five years and requires it to be monitored by a court-appointed external monitor.

The notice of the appeal was filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals late Thursday, but I’m told Apple doesn’t have to submit its formal arguments until early 2014.

It’s fair to assume, however, that Apple will bring up many of the same issues it raised in an August letter to Judge Cote, in which it outlined the arguments it planned to raise on appeal. For instance, it argued that the court excluded or disregarded crucial evidence from various witnesses, “disregarded serious credibility issues with the Google and Amazon witnesses” and excluded information about Amazon’s “internal business deliberations” from discovery.

Separately, publisher Simon & Schuster is appealing just the injunction in the case. Simon & Schuster was one of the first publishers to settle with the Department of Justice back in 2012, but Judge Cote’s injunction against Apple puts Simon & Schuster — and the four other settling publishers — at a disadvantage by significantly extending the amount of time that the publishers are required to allow Apple to discount their ebooks. Under the injunction, Simon & Schuster will not be allowed to negotiate new contracts with Apple for at least three more years.

In August, Simon & Schuster and the other settling publishers had argued that such requirements would “unreasonably and unnecessarily [restrain] the Settling Defendants’ independent business decisions beyond the scope and time provided for” in their settlements.

This story was updated several times on Friday. An earlier version of the story referred to “the amount of time that publishers are required to allow discounting of their ebooks,” rather than specifying that the injunction extends the amount of time that publishers are required to allow Apple to discount their ebooks.

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