Apple Inc. (AAPL) files appeal in e-book case

Posted Feb 26, 2014

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has filed an appeal on Tuesday in regard to the e-book antitrust case. Apple told a federal appeals court in New York that the judge’s finding that it violated antitrust laws by manipulating e-book prices was a “radical” finding that would “harm consumers.” Apple asked a U.S. appeals court to throw out the case.

This request came after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York concluded in July after a nonjury trial that Apple played a “central role” in illegally scheming as early as December 2009 with five publishers to raise e-book prices to compete intensely against Judge Cote appointed Washington lawyer Michael Bromwich to monitor Apple for two years after concluding that Apple was not doing their part to ensure it no longer violated antitrust laws.

Apple filed a request to have Bromwich’s work suspended until the appeals court decides whether he was appointed correctly. A three judge panel decided that Bromwich can continue to oversee Apple, but with limitations.

The publishers agreed to pay over $166 million to settle the case. Apple introduced e-books in 2010 to increase sales for the iPad. In a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, Apple said that they had no knowledge that the publishers were engaged in a conspiracy. Apple said that they lawfully took advantage of market “discord” and the publishers’ frustration with Amazon. Apple said that they kick-started competition in a highly concentrated market and delivered higher output with lower price levels.

Cote’s d├ęcision named Apple as liable to 33 U.S. states for antitrust violations. She will consider possible damages later this year. Apple said that the states and private plaintiffs sought over $800 million in damages.

This case is U.S. v. Apple Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-3741.

[Source: Reuters]