Shortly after the Department of Justice publicized its case against Apple, and many of us were left wondering what Apple’s tactics would be in defending itself against a case that, on the face of it, appeared pretty clear-cut, we now have some answers.
GigaOM reports that Apple’s attorney Orin Snyder argued that far from being a conspirator with publishers, Apple was on the opposite site of the negotiating table, fighting hard against them and completely unaware of whatever discussions they were having between themselves …
Apple and publishers were not aligned, Snyder argued: Rather, he claimed negotiations between them were “contentious and hard-fought…in some cases knock-down, drag-out fights” (becoming so “noxious” in the eyes of Random House that it would not sign a deal). HarperCollins only agreed to an agency agreement with Apple, he said, because News Corp wanted to retain a good relationship with the company. Snyder said that Apple had “no evidence — zero — that Apple knew anything about interactions between publishers.”
Apple also argues that its Most Favored Nation agreement, in which publishers agreed not to offer better terms to competitor retailers, meant Apple didn’t care whether or not companies like Amazon switched to the agency model or continued with its existing wholesale deal. There was thus no attempt to disrupt the existing ebook market, it says, only to ensure that Apple could sell books profitably.