“In a minor decision this week, Judge Denise Cote limited the state statutory penalties Apple faces after being found liable for conspiring with five major publisher to fix e-book prices at its June trial. While Apple remains on the hook for damages, as well as some state penalties, Cote’s ruling will likely knock a little off the final amount Apple could eventually be ordered to pay.” (via Publisher Weekly)
“Though e-books are all the rage, they still lack one essential component: a place for the author’s John Hancock. But Apple may have a solution, according to a recent patent application. The application, published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), allows for “embedding an autograph in an electronic book.” That is, you can slide your iPad in front of your favorite author at their next book signing, and walk away with a souvenir.” (via PCMag.com)
“On Wednesday afternoon, five US publishing companies told the District Court for the Southern District of New York that they objected to a recent proposal made by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to punish Apple for allegedly fixing prices on e-books. Apple was found guilty in July of conspiring to raise e-book prices, although the company says it will appeal the decision. The five publishers—HarperCollins, Lagardere, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and Macmillan—were all defendants along with Apple in the price-fixing case, but all five agreed to settlement terms, which included collectively paying back $164 million to consumers who were overcharged.” (via Ars Technica)
Reuters – “Apple Inc is rejecting charges that it conspired to fix prices of electronic books, calling the U.S. government’s antitrust lawsuit a “fundamentally flawed” endeavor that could discourage competition and harm consumers. In a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan late Tuesday, Apple said it has not conspired with anyone or fixed prices for e-books in an effort to thwart Amazon.com Inc’s dominance of that fast-growing market.”
Reuters – “Apple Inc has rejected the U.S. Justice Department’s allegations that it colluded with publishers over electronic book pricing, calling the charges “simply not true.” The U.S. government had sued Apple and five publishers, saying they conspired to fix the prices of electronic books. It has reached a settlement with three of the publishers that could lead to cheaper e-books for consumers. In an email to Reuters, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr confirmed the company’s position, which earlier appeared in a Wall Street Journal article.”
Bloomberg – “The U.S. sued Apple Inc. AAPL, Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster in New York district court, claiming the publishers colluded to fix eBook prices.CBS Corp. CBS’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and News Corp. NWSA’s HarperCollins settled their suits today, two people familiar with the matter said. Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, according to people familiar with the matter. They will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc. AMZN”
Bloomberg – “Apple Inc. and the publisher Macmillan are preparing to be sued as soon as today by the U.S. Justice Department over alleged collusion in the pricing of e- books, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, the people said. In an antitrust case, they will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc.”
ars technica – “Three e-book publishers are nearing a settlement over an e-book price-fixing case in the US and Europe, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal. But not everyone is on board—Apple and two other publishers are allegedly holding out, though the situation was described as “fluid” and could change as a lawsuit filing looms.”
“The Justice Department could reach a settlement in the next few weeks with Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and some of the major publishers suspected of colluding to push up electronic book prices, according to two people close to the negotiations. While negotiations are still fluid, the settlement is expected to eliminate Apple’s so-called “most favored nation” status, which had prevented the publishers from selling lower-priced e-books through rival retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) or Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N), the people said.
AP – “In the interview, Steve Wozniak and the late Steve Jobs recall a seminal moment in Silicon Valley history — how they named their upstart computer company some 35 years ago. “I remember driving down Highway 85,” Wozniak says. “We’re on the freeway, and Steve mentions, ‘I’ve got a name: Apple Computer.’ We kept thinking of other alternatives to that name, and we couldn’t think of anything better.”