Apple e-book deal ‘cost hundreds of millions’

A deal between Apple and publishers to set the price of e-books cost customers “hundreds of millions of dollars”, a government lawyer has claimed.Lawrence Buterman made the claim while speaking at the opening of a trial into price-fixing allegations against the iPad and iPhone maker.He said a rise in e-book prices after the launch of the iPad in 2010 was the result of a deliberate scheme. see:Apple in US court over accusations of fixing prices of ebooks
Apple colluded with the world’s top publishers to bump up the price of ebooks and cost consumers “hundreds of millions of dollars”, a US court heard Monday.At the start of what’s expected to be a three-week antitrust trial, Department of Justice lawyer Lawrence Buterman argued Apple was determined to break Amazon’s grip on the ebook market at the expense of consumers. Cites Phone Calls in Apple Pricing Case
The United States government said on Monday that there were 100 phone calls among top executives of the publishing industry in the weeks leading up to Apple’s introduction of the iPad in 2010, when they had to decide whether to sign on to a deal with Apple that would raise the prices of e-books.At least three publishers confided with one another about their plans, Lawrence Buterman, a Justice Department lawyer, said on the opening day of the government’s antitrust case against Apple, being argued in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. Government lawyers presented a timeline that included not only the records of the phone calls but also e-mail transcripts. The government also showed an e-mail with the travel itinerary for Apple’s lawyer, which shows him meeting with publishers in December 2009, and his notes from those meetings. e-book trial begins with focus on Jobs’s role
Apple’s late founder, Steve Jobs, was a key figure Monday in the Justice Department’s suit against the Silicon Valley giant for allegedly leading an illegal scheme to raise the prices of e-books.But the focus on Jobs’s role in conversations and deals made three years ago creates an odd dilemma for the court and was protested by Apple’s attorneys. Justice painted the iconic tech leader as the “chief ringleader” of a joint scheme with publishers to raise prices of e-books by $3 to $5 to break Amazon’s dominance and fatten their profits.

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