Protecting the competitive edge

Apple loses, E-book decision stands:

In a major decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, by a 2-1 margin, has affirmed Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 finding that Apple orchestrated a scheme to fix e-book prices.

“We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices, that the conspiracy unreasonably restrained trade in violation of the Sherman Act, and that the injunction is properly calibrated to protect the public from future anti-competitive harms,” wrote Debra Ann Livingston, for the court. “Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is affirmed.” Judge Dennis Jacobs, who made headlines with his tough questions at oral arguments, dissented.

In addition, the court also upheld Cote’s final injunction, rejecting an appeal by Macmillan and Simon & Schuster which argued that the final order illegally amended their consent decrees.

This is good news for independents and self-publishers, as it prevents the major publishers from ganging up against them to protect their margins.

As we’ve seen from Tor Books, some publishers believe they are too big and too important to be held accountable. But unless Citi or Goldman get into publishing, that’s unlikely to be the case.