Apple must be pretty confident that its defense against the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit is rock-solid, as a lawyer representing the company recently told a courtroom that the consumer electronics giant is anxious to go to trial.
“Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits,” Apple lawyer Daniel Floyd told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote yesterday. “We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.”
The next hearing is scheduled for June 22.
The DOJ’s antitrust division suit – filed against Apple last week – alleges that the company colluded with major book publishers to lower e-book prices in tandem, which created a trust that favored Apple’s iBooks store.
The suit claims that the alliance between the major publishers began in 2010 before the release of the iPad.
Since then, the publishers insisted on setting their own e-book prices rather than allowing retailers to set prices themselves, and have consistently granted Apple’s iBooks store lower prices.
Publishers and Apple begin settling
The publishers named include MacMillan, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, though the latter three already agreed to settle.
Macmillan and Penguin, on the other hand, each denied the allegations. In addition, smaller, independent publishers expressed support for Apple and the “agency” pricing model.
The publishers who settled agreed to allow retailers to set their own prices, implement antitrust compliance programs, and pay e-book customers in some states a total of $51 million in restitution.
And while Apple is eager to defend themselves against the US government in court, it seems its less willing to do the same internationally.
The European Commission received settlement proposals from Apple, as well as publishers Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre, and Macmillan’s international parent company, the MacMillan Group, after undertaking antitrust investigations similar to the DOJ’s.