Apple Defends Itself Against Antitrust Claims

Apple is defending itself in the Department of Justice investigation that alleges that Apple and publishers have been colluding to fix eBook pricing.

In Walter Issacson‘s biography, Steve Jobs admitted to telling publishers, “We’ll go to the agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway,” and then revealing that publishers threatened to withhold books from Amazon if they didn’t adopt the agency model.

But Apple’s lawyers are downplaying antitrust concerns that this passage might suggest. PaidContent.org has linked to an Apple court filing responding to the DOJ investigation which reads: “…if Amazon was a ‘threat’ that needed to be squelched by means of an illegal conspiracy, why would Apple offer Amazon’s Kindle app on the iPad? Why would Apple conclude that conspiring to force Amazon to no longer lose money on eBooks would cripple Amazon’s competitive fortunes? And why would Apple perceive the need for an illegal solution to the “Kindle threat” when it had an obvious and lawful one which it implemented – namely, introducing a multipurpose device (the iPad) whose marketing and sales success was not centered on eBook sales?”