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Monday, June 3, 2013

The DOJ-Apple Trial Starts Today

Granted I haven't practiced law for six years and I've let my license lapse, but it doesn't take an Apple genius to figure out which way the shit's going to fly in the trial that started this morning.

- Apple has been accused of breaking Section 1 of the Sherman Anti-trust in regards to conspiring with five publishing companies to fix the price of e-books.

- Apple's five co-defendents have all settled with the DOJ. While the DOJ is staying mum about certain details, in most cases where a defendent settles with the government, they "roll over" on their co-defendents, i.e. they cooperate with the government and provide information to assist in the prosecution of any remaining defendents.

- Apple's only defense in a charge of conspiracy is to provide evidence that they did not conspire. Their big problem is Steve Jobs boasted about the "deal" in interviews before his death. In my reading of their pleadings, they admitted to the conspiracy but have tried to claim they are justified based on Amazon's actions. First of all, Amazon has not been accused of any illegal action. Second of all, Apple is providng an excuse, not a valid legal defense (which there isn't in price fixing).

- Apple claims the DOJ is being controlled by Amazon. (Excuse me a moment while I laugh hysterically.) Is Amazon the largest online retailer in the U.S.?  Possibly. Are they THE largest retailer in the U.S.? No. Are they the largest bookseller in the U.S.? Depends on if you're talking volume of units sold (no) or number of titles offered (yes)? Is Amazon anywhere near big enough to control the U.S. government? No.

- Apple's supporters claim Judge Denise Cote is biased against Apple. No, she isn't. In fact, she's given Apple and their attorneys a lot of leeway. She's told Apple's attorneys what evidence they need to present to win this case. Judge Cote has practically drawn them a GODDAMN FUCKING MAP on what to do. Have they listened to her? No.

So what it comes down to is that Apple is screwed and their attorneys are getting rich over Apple's executives refusal to stop acting like dicks.

For the record, Angry Sheep Publishing sells e-books through both Amazon and Apple. In February, sales through Apple beat sales through Amazon and have continued to do so through March and April. Needless to say, I have an investment in Apple not doing stupid shit. But for Apple to deliberately commit business suicide? Every executive and board member at Apple needs a fucking CAT scan because brain tumors are the only explanation I can come up with for handing your business to your competitor on a silver platter.

[Editor's Note: Thoughts on the decision is this case can be found here.]

4 comments:

  1. No, not yikes, Whisk. It's stupid pride and ego getting in the way.

    There were many times when I had to tell a client that the best I could do was minimize the damage to them in a lawsuit. Once I laid out the costs (and it wasn't always money), I never had a client say, "Let's go to trial anyway!"

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  2. You really have to wonder what the hell Apple is thinking. I mean, seriously, I can't imagine their lawyers haven't explained to them what's going to happen here, or what is and isn't a valid defense. Why the hell are they still sticking with the old, "But Amazon's being meeeean to us!!" defense?? o_O

    It's like something out of a bad novel, written by someone who doesn't really know how legal stuff works. But this is real life, which makes the whole situation completely boggling.

    Angie

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  3. Yeah, Angie, pretty much everyone in the legal profession (and a lot of people outside of it) are wondering what the hell Apple executives are smoking.

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