On June 3, the case of United States of America vs. Apple Inc. goes to trial.
In anticipation of the landmark proceedings, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has released its pretrial filings, Melville House reports.
The filings show that the DOJ accuses Apple of being the “ringmaster” of a wide-ranging conspiracy.
Wait, the government gets to wield conspiracy theories, too? Plot twist!
In the filings, the DOJ says perfectly Michael Moore-ish things like, “Apple knew exactly what it was doing.”
The DOJ filings include private e-mails between Big Six executives and the late Steve Jobs himself. The e-mails figure as evidence in the argument that Apple sought to coordinate with Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Penguin to set e-book prices above $9.99, because “Apple knew that the major publishers disliked Amazon’s low prices and saw Apple’s potential entry as a pathway to higher retail prices industry-wide.”
Unaddressed are Amazon’s exploitative e-book pricing practices—though there is plenty of evidence of that in these e-mails. It would seem the government has a clear target in mind, and is – ahem – aiming for the Apple.
Apple released its own filings, as explored by Publishers Weekly.
In its filing, Apple disputes the charges, maintaining that despite the heaps of documents and sworn testimony, there is no “direct evidence” of any conspiracy.
“The evidentiary record the parties submitted proves that Apple did not conspire with any publisher to raise prices in the e-book industry,” Apple attorneys state. “Plaintiffs cherry-pick quotes taken out of context and repackage them to tell a false narrative.”
Penguin, also being singled out by the DOJ for bad behavior, has also released filings, where it accuses the plaintiffs of “misconstruing” events.
“The plaintiffs cannot extrapolate direct evidence of a conspiracy from the fact that Penguin received vertical assurances from Apple,” Penguin attorneys argue. “Penguin did not care what business model anybody else used with Apple.”
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