Apple urges U.S. appeals court to void 'radical' e-books ruling

NEW YORK Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:06pm IST

A member of the media holds the new iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files

A member of the media holds the new iPad mini with Retnia display during an Apple event in San Francisco, California October 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) urged a U.S. appeals court to throw out a judge's "radical" finding that it violated antitrust law by manipulating electronic book prices, and blamed publishers for running a conspiracy it claimed to know nothing about.

The request on Tuesday night came after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York concluded last July after a nonjury trial that Apple had played a "central role" in illegally scheming as early as December 2009 with five publishers to raise e-book prices and impede competitors such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

The publishers previously agreed to pay more than $166 million to settle related antitrust charges.

Apple introduced e-books in 2010 to help boost sales for its then-new iPad tablet.

In a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, Apple said it "had no knowledge that the publishers were engaged in a conspiracy" at any time.

It said it lawfully took advantage of market "discord" and the publishers' own frustrations with Amazon, and "kick-started competition in a highly concentrated market, delivering higher output, lower price levels, and accelerated innovation."

Cote's decision "is a radical departure from modern antitrust law," Apple said. "If allowed to stand, the ruling will stifle innovation, chill competition, and harm consumers."

The Cupertino, California-based company asked the 2nd Circuit to reverse Cote's decision or else give it a new trial before a different judge.

Apple also again faulted Cote's appointment of Washington lawyer Michael Bromwich to monitor its antitrust compliance, calling that oversight unconstitutional.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which brought the case, was not immediately available on Wednesday for comment. That agency is expected to reply in writing to Apple's request.

In her decision, Cote also found Apple liable to 33 U.S. states for antitrust violations. She is expected to consider possible damages later this year. Apple said the states and private plaintiffs sought more than $800 million of damages.

On February 10, the 2nd Circuit rejected Apple's request to halt Bromwich's oversight during its appeal.

The case is U.S. v. Apple Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-3741.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Showcase

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Google bolsters artificial intelligence efforts, partners with Oxford.  Full Article 

Addressing Concerns

Addressing Concerns

China's Xiaomi shifts some smartphone user data out of Beijing on privacy concerns.  Full Article 

New Email Service

New Email Service

Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox".  Full Article 

Apple-1 Auction

Apple-1 Auction

Early Apple computer sells for $905,000 at auction.  Full Article 

No More Nokia

No More Nokia

Microsoft looks set to drop Nokia name from smartphones.  Full Article 

Deal Talk

Deal Talk

Apple ponders sapphire options, leaves door open for GT.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage