A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Apple denied suspension of its antitrust violation

A federal judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Friday denied Apple's [corporate website] request for a temporary suspension of the court's July ruling [JURIST report] that Apple violated the Sherman Act [text] and various state statutes in an e-book price-fixing conspiracy. Despite Apple's continued denial [AP report] of the charges, US District Judge Denise Cote emphasized the need to suppress such collusive activity. Cote singled out Apple as a central force [Reuters report] in the entire price-fixing operation, portraying a company known so well for its image-minded marketing and business model as a disreputable market participant.

In May Judge Cote gave a tentative opinion [JURST report] that the government would be successful in its antitrust claim. The Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] alleged that Apple, Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Macmillan and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. conspired to fix the prices of e-books in response to Amazon's discount pricing strategy. The DOJ originally brought the suit in April 2012, and the court denied a motion to dismiss [JURIST reports] in May of last year. Commentators had been very mixed in response to the proposed settlement agreement. Some have suggested that the DOJ's lawsuit is merely "superficial" [JURIST op-ed] and that the effect of the agency agreements may actually have been a net-positive to consumers if Amazon was selling e-books at a loss in order to drive the sale of Kindles.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.