Home » Apple, Big Publishing, Legal Stuff » Why Apple took its e-book fight to the Supreme Court

Why Apple took its e-book fight to the Supreme Court

31 October 2015

From Fortune:

Having maintained its innocence throughout the federal district court trial, which it lost, and in the appeal, which it lost in a split decision, it should surprise no one that Apple is taking its e-book antitrust case to the highest court in the land.

Accompanying Thursday’s 250-page petition was a brief statement to the press:

“When Apple launched the iBooks Store in 2010, we brought choice to consumers and innovation to ebooks. We have always acted in the best interest of customers and content creators of all sizes. We did nothing wrong, and stand by our principles. At this point, our only recourse is to take this to the Supreme Court.”

 There’s no guarantee the Supreme Court will hear the case. And with two strikes against it, the odds of a favorable outcome for Apple are steep.

But that may not matter to Tim Cook and company.

With its war chest of cash, Apple can afford to wage quixotic fights. Especially if they are fights Steve Jobs started. Especially if a large segment of its customer base is inclined to see the case its way.

This is Apple “thinking different” to the bitter end.

Link to the rest at Fortune

For the benefit of those who may not have been visiting TPV during the extended legal battle of Apple and five major New York publishers against Justice Department antitrust charges, this was not a close case, just plain old price-fixing which has been illegal in the US since the passage of The Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

Apple may be sophisticated in product design and marketing, but it, and the big publishers involved, were crude and stupid when it came to violating antitrust law.

Apple, Big Publishing, Legal Stuff

13 Comments to “Why Apple took its e-book fight to the Supreme Court”

  1. To admit they are just this stupid might reduce the number of non-thinking Apple fan boys and girls that buy the Apple iThingies — and Apple can’t survive without them, so the beating of the dead horse will continue until there’s nothing left of it but buggy whips.

    (Which Apple will then tell their fans they just have to get as iPhone7 accessories … 😉 )

  2. I hope they are rejected or lose big.

    Hey, we’re an Apple-loving family: 2 iPhones, a Mac Mini, a Macbook Pro, an IMac. But this they need to just stop, take their smack on the naughty hand, and move on. Maybe make iTunes better. And Safari. SAfari sucks.

  3. Yeah, this was unequivocally price-fixing…I can’t imagine what they stand to gain by trying to get this to the Supreme Court level.

  4. What you focus on, you get more of.

    Apple has focused on its legal troubles. Apple got more legal troubles.

    When you pay that much attention to your past wrongs, you have no time to pay attention to your present and future products. iTunes and Safari are in the crapper. What will be next?

  5. My views on this whole case have changed a bit every time I gather a little more information.

    I’m not in the camp that says Apple is headed up by stupid people who partnered with other stupid people. Far from it really. To say that they committed an act that was blatantly illegal and did so without even taking steps to hide their actions would support that, but I think to even have that view you first have to believe that the law applies evenly to all people and businesses in this country. The past couple decades have shown this to be false. If you have money (and if Apple has anything its money) you can basically buy your way out of any trouble. You can even get laws passed to protect you retroactively.

    The S&L debacle, too-big-to-fail, it’s okay to torture people, Glass-Seagall no longer applies, the NSA is not party to the fourth amendment, you can manipulate commodity markets and drive gas to $5 a gallon and never go to jail, you can violate the Geneva convention and never answer for it, you can gamble with the taxpayers money and get bailed out when it all comes tumbling down. Even if you’re President you can get pardoned by the next President when you get caught and call it “moving forward rather than dwelling on the past”, as if all crimes did not happen in the past.

    I think Apple is trying to pull a Goldman-Sachs and just do what they want and then buy their way out of it when they get caught. But, they’re new at this it seems.

    Maybe they should hire a Goldman Sachs mercenary/lobbyist/tutor, someone to guide them on who to pay off and get the law changed, retroactively of course, so they can join the club too. Then they wouldn’t even have to deal with these annoying Judges.

  6. Apple is buying time to keep peddling their party line of “innocence” as long as possible hoping that by the time they have no more options the bulk of the faithful will have forgotten what it was all about.
    They even asked for enough of a delay to appeal to the SCOTUS as to ensure that if the case does get picked up (perhaps with a view to consider the idea that vertical price fixing can be used anti-competitivrly) they get an extra year of “we’re appealing!”.

    It’s all about PR which is a core competency at Apple.
    So are under the table gentlemen’s agreements.

    It’s Apple through and through.

    • Apple is buying time to keep peddling their party line of “innocence” as long as possible hoping that by the time they have no more options the bulk of the faithful will have forgotten what it was all about

      The bulk of the faithful don’t care what it was all about. Think consumers follow the legal battles of the firms that manufacture the goods they buy?

      • Not to mention, the vast majority of tech consumers don’t care about this, because like most everybody else in this declining country we live in, they don’t buy books. Why in the world would the average Apple fan care that Apple tried to rig the ebook market?

  7. It’s pretty clear that a lot of the big tech companies aren’t taking laws as seriously as they should. Look at the High Tech Antitrust case.

    So far Amazon hasn’t done anything obviously stupid, but as they continue to grow there’s more chances for some middle manager or rogue exec to do something, even if the main people keep their hands clean.

  8. “We have always acted in the best interest of customers and content creators of all sizes.” That is, content creators that have a Mac, because you can’t load your writing on iBooks without. And, it’s fraught with errors that are difficult to decypher and resolve.

  9. Is this kind of thing just about CEO bragging rights? Or a slightly delusional CEO pushing his authority further than he really should? The only rational idea I can find in all this is that they are making more money by delaying payment than they’re spending on lawyers.

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