Experts Say Department Of Justice Will Likely Loose Ebook Case Against Apple

Over the past couple of days Apple has been getting a lot of headlines due to the Cupertino-based company being sued by the Department of Justice for allegedly fixing e-book prices.  The Department of Justice is claiming that Apple is working with several major publishers to raise e-book prices across the industry.

Unfortunately for the DOJ legal experts say that the Justice Department has a much better case against the publishers than they do against Apple.

“It’s a harder case against Apple than the publishers,” says Geoffrey Manne, who teaches antitrust law at the Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon and runs the International Center for Law Economics. (See CNET’s list of related articles and an explanation of eBook economics)”

One reason lies in the Justice Department’s 36-page complaint, which recounts how publishers met over breakfast in a London hotel and dinners at Manhattan’s posh Picholine restaurant, which boasts a “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator magazine. The key point is that Apple wasn’t present.”

Another fact that Apple has on their side is that they are not the dominant force in the e-book market. In fact they only hold 10 percent of the market while Amazon holds the lions share at 80 percent.  The fact that Apple holds such a small portion of the market is going to make it pretty difficult to find the company guilty of violating antitrust laws.

This could possibly be why Apple has decided to stick around and fight the case rather than settle like some of the publishers already have. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, but as of now it looks like Apple doesn’t have too much to worry about.



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