Judge Finds Apple Colluded With Publishers on E-Book Pricing

Chad Bray and Joe Palazzolo, writing at the *Wall Street Journal*:

> In a stern rebuke to Apple Inc.’s AAPL -0.45% electronic books sales strategy, a federal judge has ruled that the company colluded with five major U.S. publishers to artificially drive up the prices of e-books in the months ahead of the technology company entering the market in 2010.

I have not read the opinion yet, but this decision seemed inevitable based on the coverage of the trial I did read.[^fn1]

[^fn1]: DISCLAIMER: This post may contain some discussion about legal issues, but (1) it is not legal advice, (2) it does not establish an attorney-client relationship, and (3) it is not advertising for legal services. The full disclaimer can be found on the [Disclaimer Page](

Entertainment Law Technology

A Repsonse to Scott Turow’s New York Times Article

An excellent response to Mr. Turow by Mike Masnick. If you read the Turow piece, then I would encourage you to read Mr. Masnick’s whole reply.

Internet Technology

eBook Publishers Raising Prices for Libraries

> According to documents posted on infodocket earlier this week, the average price of backlisted books (those from 2010 or earlier) is set to jump by 220 percent in October. Hachette has responded, saying that the new prices “fairly reflect the value to the library customer” since ebooks will not need to be replaced at the same rate as physical books.

What a bunch of garbage. Publishers cannot be cut from the “author-to-reader” delivery chain soon enough.

Law Technology

The DOJ Got it Right with the eBook Antitrust Case

I’ve seen recent postings from [John Gruber]( and [David Sparks](, critizing the DOJ’s antitrust case against Apple and book publishers. These posts from Mr. Gruber and Mr. Sparks seem, however, to ignore how antitrust law actually works. One of the things antitrust laws prohibit is companies from holding clandestine meetings to agree on a pricing strategy for the whole industry. That is exactly what the book publishers are accused of doing in this case. Mr. Gruber and Mr. Sparks can try to make the argument that the current situation is *better* for consumers,[^ppfix] but they should not criticize the DOJ for filing a complaint against companies whose alleged conduct is prohibited by antitrust statutes.

[^ppfix]: Though that argument is an uphill battle when most eBooks have increased in price by 2-3 dollars per book since Apple got involved.