Apple’s legal response to DOJ in eBook price-fixing case
Ars Technica posted Apple’s legal response (PDF) to the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company, and six publishers, for allegedly conspiring to fix eBook prices. In the document, Apple condemned the federal government for siding with “monopoly, rather than competition,” and then called the Department of Justice’s complaint “fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.”
Phrases like “false” and “absurd” appear throughout Apple’s response to the accusations, which parallels the company’s statement from April, in regards to the suit’s filing, where Apple essentially said it is breaking monopolies, rather than starting them. Daring Fireball cropped this little nugget from the legal response that summarizes the entire 31-page document:
The Government sides with monopoly, rather than competition, in bringing this case. The Government starts from the false premise that an eBooks “market” was characterized by “robust price competition” prior to Apple’s entry. This ignores a simple and incontrovertible fact: before 2010, there was no real competition, there was only Amazon. At the time Apple entered the market, Amazon sold nearly nine out of every ten eBooks, and its power over price and product selection was nearly absolute. Apple’s entry spurred tremendous growth in eBook titles, range and variety of offerings, sales, and improved quality of the eBook reading experience. This is evidence of a dynamic, competitive market. These inconvenient facts are ignored in the Complaint. Instead, the Government focuses on increased prices for a handful of titles. The Complaint does not allege that all eBook prices, or even most eBook prices, increased after Apple entered the market.