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Apple officially appeals in ebook pricing case

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Apple (s AAPL) 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.

4 Responses to “Apple officially appeals in ebook pricing case”

  1. fredhstein

    Apple clearly conspired to j-walk. Please think long and hard about real crimes with real victims. Perhaps we vaguely remember the housing bubble, where loans to people with no docs, no income, and equity were passed on to investors – and we could go on and on.

    And really did Apple and publishers force users to pay higher prices? Some prices went up and some went down (per DOJ slides) Now a history lesson. Most monopolist use low price and/or control of access to market to force out competitors. I’m not referring to Amazon, but the J.D. Rockafeller and Standard Oil. More history – after J.D., we wised up and passed anti-trust laws.

    More history, Intel was slammed legally for ‘tying’, mainly using the fact that Intel made both high-end server and low-end pc chips to maintain their PC business against AMD. In the Apple trial we learned that Amazon threaten to remove the paper version of books if publishers agreed to Apple’s terms.

    Disclosure Fanboy and own AAPL.

  2. There was very shabby legal work by the judge in this case. The only company exercising monopoly powers here was Amazon. Apple, which was selling no ebooks at the time, could not possibly have exercised monopoly power to influence pricing.

    Amazon will now resume its role as the behemoth here, setting prices to keep others out of the book business and ultimately very likely impoverish authors and publishers. Not to mention limiting the free flow of ideas by putting some out of business.

    It seems that the administration, and this judge, have no idea what a monopoly is. Apple, with at the time zero book sales, certainly was not a monopoly.

    The administration seems to have put no value on access to learning or education. The Justice department seems not to understand how important it is in America for those of us who came up from being very poor to have great dreams about being successful. Justice and the judge have forgotten how we became rich and strong by being able to follow those dreams.

    As a nation, we have dropped recently to No. 17 among the best countries in which to start a business. People are starting to go elsewhere to follow their dreams and to rise up from poverty to great success by creating great products, great jobs and great wealth for themselves and others. The American people will suffer from this wrongheaded decision.

    • NowhereManCA

      It is so clear that you have no idea what you are talking about concerning this case.

      Apple clearly conspired with various publishers to create a horizontal price fixing scheme. This is what they were found guilty of and the legal work by the judge in this case is sound with plenty of case law to back up the decision.