Apple Responds To Price Fixing Lawsuit

The civil suit against the Price-Fix 6 took another turn earlier this week, when Apple formally responded to the the allegations.

You probably remember last summer when over a dozen similar class action lawsuits were filed. The specifics varied between the suits, but the general tenor was the same. Five publishers and Apple were accused of conspiring to set the retail price of ebooks and block Amazon from discounting ebooks.  Further filings in December 2011 revealed that at least a couple publishing insiders had been found who could verify the accusations.

And now we have Apple's response. A few days back Apple filed a motion to dismiss. According to Apple, they had nothing to do with any conspiracy amongst the publishers. I'm not going to debate the details of this filing, but I frankly don't believe Apple.

What are the odds that these publishers conspired and didn't involve Apple in the correspondence?


Nate Hoffelder

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Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Timothy Wilhoit11 March, 2012

    I don’t recall Steve Jobs disputing any of the quotes attributed to him in the New Yorker article from April 2010.

  2. Mike Cane11 March, 2012

    There were rumors *months* before the iBookstore happened that Apple had reps talking to the Big Six touting their idea for the Agency Model.

  3. Mike Cane11 March, 2012

    I am reading the PDF and laughing my ass off. I’m surprised the attorneys for Apple didn’t claim that Apple *isn’t* in the eBook business at all — that the iBookstore is a collective hallucination, as is the price-fixing conspiracy — because Jobs said people don’t read!

    Apple’s people do not tread lightly. They will do what needs to be done to get what they want. The tale of the software that Apple bought to become iTunes says it all. So do all the app rejections for reasons of “duplicates functionality” — some of said functionality being something Apple *still intended to add in the future* (now likely “inspired” by all the good ideas being submitted by trusting devs in apps!).

    Really, if the Judge can’t see behind the sheet, he or she should resign or be removed for reasons of dementia.

  4. Mike Cane11 March, 2012

    Further, ya know, I never recall publishers talking about “windowing” eBooks when there was only Sony! And Sony did discounting too, offering up bundles of books that were no longer possible when Agency happened. And what about all those smaller bookstores that didn’t have real measurable market share against Amazon? THEY were forced to Agency as well!

    The Judge should demand a timeline. When did Apple first start meeting with publishers? When did publishers first publicly mention “windowing”? That would say it all right there.

    1. Mike Cane11 March, 2012

      Reading further on, Apple’s attorneys claim windowing came up well before Apple came along. I say let the process of Discovery *prove* that, otherwise Apple’s counterclaim is bullshit.

      I also notice one Japanese dumping suit is mentioned. That’s how Japan managed to make headway in many industries here in America, by pricing below their costs. It was a hub and spoke conspiracy led by MITI of Japan. Amazon doing it *alone* was not conspiratorial, since the Big Six were all against it — because they saw it as a longer-term pricing threat.

      And the attorneys keep trying to make out that Apple had zero market share — when it comes to *eBooks*. But Apple *did* have a device population already greater than the Kindle with the iPhone. So to make out that Apple was starting from a disadvantageous position is laughable and qualifies as Chutzpah of the Year!


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