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Apple EBook Pricing Challenged by DOJ

Jun 4 2013, 8:14am CDT | by , in News | Apple

Apple EBook Pricing Challenged by DOJ

In a landmark trial, Apple’s e-book controversy has brought it into conflict with the Department of Justice (DOJ). The e-book price-raising scheme was openly challenged by the DOJ in a much publicized case whose results are yet to come.

While Steve Jobs has long since passed away from the temporal world, his ghost cannot be exorcised so easily. In fact, it has come back to haunt Apple Incorporated. At a litigious trial held in New York, the DOJ aggressively complained that the late founder of Apple had conspired with several publishers to raise the standard prices of its e-books in order to fatten his wallet. This profit-oriented illicit activity was evident from a number of emails that Jobs had sent to and received from his staff. The main responsibility for all this came to rest squarely on the head of Steve Jobs.

According to CNet, the chief reason for this clever manipulation of prices was to downplay the role of Amazon which was a bone of contention in its way.  However, the fact was that the context of the emails was lost since Jobs himself was a dead man and couldn’t appear in person at the trial in order to defend himself. That was precisely the point that the defendants tried to get across to the judge at the trial. And they requested that all bias be eliminated from the judgment. But the presiding judge pointed out that a fair hearing would take place and besides Apple had been given a lot of time to change its stance but it had not done that.

What irked Apple’s defense lawyer, Orin Snyder to no end was the selective quotation of Jobs by the opposition. This according to him made a travesty of justice. Apple’s lawyers seem to be a tough bunch alright as they took on the DOJ with a vengeance. The trial is an object lesson in the inner politics of Apple as a giant organization. Since some of the documents being discussed at the trial were top secret material, representatives from both Amazon and Google were present to ensure that they not be divulged.

As for the attorneys they even went to the extent of saying that Apple ought to be commended on its services instead of being condemned.The charges of price-fixing were dismissed by the representatives of Apple who stated the fact that just by virtue of entering a market situation of small-time players, Apple had created a stir. Although Apple will not have to pay a fine, the DOJ will ensure that it won’t be fixing prices in the future.   

Image Credit: Getty Images

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