The Department of Justice is taking Apple to task regarding an e-book price fixing allegations, and the agency’s opening statements have been posted online. The DOJ alleges that Apple conspired with book publishers to fix prices in the e-book market—not exactly international espionage, but it’s a notable infraction should Apple be found guilty. According to DOJ’s Lawrence Buterman, the government has more than enough evidence to prove Apple’s wrongdoing, including email and phone records.
Buterman’s evidence allegedly proves that Apple rallied publishers around a nefarious new model designed around driving up e-book prices. If this is the case, consumers may have ultimately paid hundreds of millions of dollars more than they otherwise would have—or if they went to a competitor such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Apple insists it played by the rules, but the DOJ has worked up a case that certainly makes the company seem guilty. In the many calls and emails cited in the suit, Apple’s Eddy Cue, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, reportedly provided publishers with information about what others in the industry agreed to. Instead of allowing retailers to set ebook prices, Apple wanted publishers to dictate how much consumers paid.
Executives from Apple, publishers and Amazon are expected to testify during the trial, which is believed to last around three weeks. Check out DOJ’s full argument here.