The U.S. Department of Justice is likely to lose its antitrust lawsuit against Apple over eBooks pricing, says CNET. The report claims that the DOJ has a better chance of winning their lawsuit against publishers themselves than coming up victorious against Apple. One reasoning behind this belief is that, despite publishers meeting together to discuss eBook pricing, Apple was never present in these talks.
Moreover, Apple has the benefit of precedent-setting decisions made in similar cases in the past. In a 1979 case of BMI vs. CBS, it was ruled that “not all arrangements among actual or potential competitors that have an impact on price are per se violations.” Then, in a 2007 case, it was determined that “manufacturers can enforce minimum retail prices, which is one aspect of what publishers are accused of doing with e-books.”
News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, and Simon & Schuster have already reached settlements in the case, but Apple is refusing to back down and continues to take part in the litigation. Pearson’s Penguin Group and Macmillan Publishers are two publishers that have also decided to stick it out alongside Apple. It should be noted that Simon & Schuster is owned by CBS, which also operates CNET.
Apple does not have a clear-cut victory coming their way, but it is suggested that the Department of Justice will have to prove how Apple is involved in this anticompetitive eBook pricing scandal:
“I’m not saying that Apple can smile and walk away from this,” says Joseph Bauer, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame. “It’s just that the government will have to show that Apple had some kind of involvement in the original arrangement.”