Tags: US | Apple | Publisher | E-Book

US: Apple, Publisher Worked Together to Fix E-Book Prices

Tuesday, 14 May 2013 08:47 PM

 

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Apple Inc. engaged in a horizontal price-fixing scheme with some of the U.S.'s largest publishers to violate antitrust laws by working "to strip retailers of pricing authority," the U.S. Justice Department said in a court filing.

The department's Antitrust Division filed papers for a trial set to begin June 3 in federal court in New York that included excerpts of e-mails and depositions of Apple executives including Jobs and publishing executives.

In an April 26 memo made public Tuesday, the U.S. cited evidence in its case such as an e-mail sent by Jobs to James Murdoch, then chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., the parent company of the HarperCollins book division.

"Apple’s iTunes Store and App Store have over 120 million customers with credit cards on file and have downloaded over 12 billion products," Jobs said in an undated e-mail. "This is the type of online assets that will be required to scale the e-book business into something that matters to the publishers."

The U.S. sued Apple and a group of book publishers in 2012, claiming they conspired to raise prices for electronic books in violation of U.S. antitrust law.

The case is U.S. v. Apple Inc., 12-cv-02826, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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