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Posts Tagged ‘Denise Cote’

Judge Orders Remedy for Apple in eBook Case

U.S. District Court judge Denise Cote has issued an order regarding the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple for setting the price of eBooks. Below, we’ve embedded a PDF copy of the complete final judgement.

According to the judge, “Apple shall not enter into or maintain any agreement with an eBook Publisher where such an agreement will increase, fix, or set the price at which other eBook Retailers can acquire or sell eBooks.” In addition, the court also ordered the appointment of an external monitor. Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer outlined this new position:

the court has decided to appoint an external monitor to ensure that Apple’s internal antitrust compliance policies will be sufficient to catch future anticompetitive activities before they result in harm to consumers. The monitor, whose salary and expenses will be paid by Apple, will work with an internal antitrust compliance officer who will be hired by and report exclusively to the outside directors comprising Apple’s audit committee. The antitrust compliance officer will be responsible for training Apple’s senior executives about the antitrust laws and ensuring that Apple abides by the relief ordered by the court.

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DOJ & Apple To Debate Proposed Remedy in eBook Case

Apple lawyers and Department of Justice attorneys will debate the DOJ’s proposed remedy today 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Earlier this week, five major publishers disputed the DOJ’s proposed remedy in the eBook price fixing case–writing that the remedy could ruin settlement agreements created by the publishers before Apple argued the case in court.  U.S Attorney Lawrence Buterman wrote a letter to the court (PDF), arguing that these measures are necessary. Here’s an excerpt:

 there is reason to believe the Publisher Defendants may be positioning themselves to pick things back up where they left off as soon as their two-year clocks run. Indeed, the very fact that the Publisher Defendants have banded together once again, this time to jointly oppose two provisions in the Proposed Final Judgement that they believe could result in lower e-Book prices for consumers, only highlights why it is necessary to ensure that Apple (and hopefully other retailers) can discount e-books and compete on retail price for as long as possible.

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Judge Rules That Apple Led ‘Conspiracy’ To Fix eBook Prices

U.S. district judge Denise Cote ruled today that Apple colluded with publishers to fix eBook prices. You can read her 160-page ruling at this PDF link. The DOJ offered this statement:

After carefully weighing the evidence, the court agreed with the Justice Department and 33 state attorneys general that executives at the highest levels of Apple orchestrated a conspiracy with five major publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster – to raise e-book prices.  Through today’s court decision and previous settlements with five major publishers, consumers are again benefitting from retail price competition and paying less for their e-books.

Above, you can see a DOJ chart about how eBook prices changed when the agency model took effect in 2010 (click to enlarge). You can read more about the chart, created by Berkeley Competition Policy Center chair and emeritus Berkeley economics professor Richard J. Gilbert for the DOJ.

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Settlement Approved Between DOJ & Three Publishers

U.S. District Court judge Denise Cote has approved the eBook settlement struck between Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins and the Department of Justice.

The New York Times has the scoop: “The settlement approved on Thursday called for the publishers to end their contracts with Apple within one week. The publishers must also terminate contracts with e-book retailers that contain restrictions on the retailer’s ability to set the price of an e-book or contain a so-called ‘most favored nation’ clause, which says that no other retailer is allowed to sell e-books for a lower price.”

The judge quoted an immortal poem in her decision (embedded below): “there can be no denying the importance of books and authors in the quest for human knowledge and creative expression, and in supporting a free and prosperous society. To quote Emily Dickinson: ‘There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away, / Nor any Coursers like a Page / Of prancing Poetry /–This Traverse may the poorest take /Without oppress of Toll /–How frugal is the Chariot /  That bears a Human soul.’ Clearly, this is no ordinary Tunney Act proceeding.”

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DOJ Misses Deadline to Post 800 Public Letters

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has received more than 800 letters in public commentary in regards to the proposed ebook pricing settlement.

In a letter sent to Judge Cote, DOJ attorney Mark Ryan explained that they need time to read, sort and address all of these replies. At this point, the letters should be posted by July 20th.

Here’s more from PaidContent: “The Department of Justice was supposed to publish all of the letters it has received about the ebook pricing settlement on its website by June 25. That did not happen. Earlier this week [Bob] Kohn, an attorney and CEO of Royalty Share who previously wrote a legal brief in support of Apple and the publishers (but does not work for any of the parties involved), sent Denise Cote, the judge presiding over the case, a letter stating that the DOJ’s failure to make the letters available to the public — and to provide its response to those comments — on time violates federal antitrust rules.”

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Apple & Publishers’ Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit Denied

U.S. District Court judge Denise Cote has denied both Apple’s and publishers’ move to dismiss a civil class action suit that alleges Apple and major publishers colluded to set eBook prices.

Follow this PDF link to download a copy of the 56-page decision.

Hagens Berman managing partner Steve Berman is the lead counsel in the class action suit against Apple and publishers. He had this statement: “We look forward to uncovering additional evidence in the discovery phase of this litigation … We litigated this case because we strongly believe that consumers were harmed by Apple and the publishers’ tactics and we will not settle without an effective plan to repay consumers for their losses.”

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