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Apple Argues Steve Jobs’ Words Taken Out of Context in eBook Case

by Todd Haselton | June 4, 2013June 4, 2013 9:30 am PDT

Steve Jobs Mosaic (Credit:

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice made its opening argument in a case against Apple. The government body believes that Apple purposefully took part in shady operations with eBook publishers in an effort to fix the prices of the digital book industry. The DOJ pointed to email and phone records, some of the them from Steve Jobs, who is being fingered as the leader of the scheme, as proof of the corrupt practices.

Apple doesn’t think that’s fair and said that the notes from Steve Jobs are being taken out of context.

“There’s something inherently unfair and uncomfortable about placing such reliance on the out-of-court statements of someone who’s not here to explain them or place them into context — particularly when in almost every instance the government either omits key language to draw an inference, or blatantly mischaracterizes what the statements mean,” Apple lawyer Orin Snyder said during his opening statements yesterday.

The DOJ thinks that Jobs’ emails are enough evidence to place the blame on Apple, but Snyder argues that in order for anyone to accuse Jobs’ prior statements as “admissions of a conspiracy” one would need to assume that he knew his statements would be “interpreted in no other way than as unambiguous admissions of the price-fixing conspiracy charged in this case.” In other words, Steve Jobs would have known he was shooting himself in the foot, which doesn’t really make any sense. Apple also thinks the DOJ is “cherry picking” statements to make it look like Steve Jobs wanted to control eBook prices, AllThingsD explained.

Several publishers that were also tied to the price fixing case have already settled but Apple is continuing its fight and has argued that it did not act illegally.


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...