While the ebook trial may seem like old news now, the case is not yet finally settled. Apple was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior in its ebooks pricing and practices back in 2013, and lost a subsequent federal court appeal – despite some judges expressing sympathy with Apple’s position.
A group of authors and booksellers have filed a motion in the US asking for the […] decision against Apple’s role in a 2010 conspiracy to fix the price of e-books to be overturned […]
The Authors Guild, along with Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble filed an “amicus brief” in the US which asserts that the government’s focus on Apple’s “allegedly anti-competitive activities” was “misplaced” …
An amicus brief is a motion filed by parties not directly involved in a case, but who wish to express a view as ‘a friend of the court.’
Apple said when it lost its federal court appeal that it still believed it had done nothing wrong and might therefore continue to fight for the “principles and values” involved. The amicus brief supports that position, saying that history proved Apple was right – and that if anyone was guilty of anti-competitive behavior, it was Amazon.
It said Apple’s entry into the market increased competition, “as demonstrated by the fall of Amazon’s market share from 90% in 2010 to around 60% two years later”. The brief went onto say the Department of Justice should instead apply anti-trust scrutiny to Amazon over its past anticompetitive behaviour in the e-book marketplace.
Publisher’s Weekly notes that the Author’s Guild argued that Apple had a positive impact on the ebook market by breaking Amazon’s near-monopoly at the time.
“With a 90% market share, nearly every customer who wanted to purchase an e-book had to do so through Amazon,” the brief states. […] “Amazon controlled what e-books were promoted on its home page, what e-books were recommended to consumers, and what books appeared at the top of a consumer’s search results when she searched for e-books on the Amazon.com website.”
The Department of Justice has not yet responded to Apple’s petition to the Supreme Court. If it intends to do so, it doesn’t have long to do it, with a deadline of January 4th, just a month from now.