Judge Sets 2013 Trial Date for Apple E-Book Lawsuit
A trial date has been set for a lawsuit from the U.S. government that accuses Apple and other book publishers of conspiring to set the prices of e-books, reports Reuters.
Following a hearing in Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said a bench trial in the case will begin June 3, 2013, for Apple and two publishers who are fighting the antitrust charges.
Apple denies that it has conspired with anyone or fixed prices for e-books.
"The Government starts from the false premise that an eBooks 'market' was characterized by 'robust price competition' prior to Apple's entry. This ignores a simple and incontrovertible fact: before 2010, there was no real competition, there was only Amazon. At the time Apple entered the market, Amazon sold nearly nine out of every ten eBooks, and its power over price and product selection was nearly absolute. Apple's entry spurred tremendous growth in eBook titles, range and variety of offerings, sales, and improved quality of the eBook reading experience. This is evidence of a dynamic, competitive market. These inconvenient facts are ignored in the Complaint. Instead, the Government focuses on increased prices for a handful of titles. The Complaint does not allege that all eBook prices, or even most eBook prices, increased after Apple entered the market."
The publishers Macmillan and Penguin Group are also fighting the antitrust case. News Corp's HarperCollins Publishers, CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster and Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group settled the case with the U.S. Justice Department.