Apple and Apple Supporters Respond to eBook Lawsuit

On April 11, 2012, the DOJ initiation a civil antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Inc. and five major retail book publishers. (See previous blog post: Apple ebook Lawsuit Filed)

On Friday, April 13, 2012 Apple responded to the lawsuit and pointed the finger back at Amazon. Through its representative, Tom Neumayr, Apple released this statement:

The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.

Since it was filed three defendants have settled without admitting any wrong doing. At this time, Apple, Inc., The Penguin Group and MacMillan are still a party to the lawsuit.

In a letter posted on The Author Guild Blog, MacMillan’s CEO has defended its position, stating that

When Macmillan changed to the agency model we did so knowing we would make less money on our e-book business. We made the change to support an open and competitive market for the future, and it worked. We still believe in that future and we still believe the agency model is the only way to get there.

Other dissenters of the DOJ lawsuit include Authors Guild president, Scott Turow. He has said, the US “government may be on the verge of killing real competition in order to save the appearance of competition. This would be tragic for all of us who value books and the culture they support.”

It seems to me you have two sides, both claiming the competition in the e-book retail market was in danger of being eliminated in the hands of the other. It will be interesting to see, in the end, where competition still lays.