Showdown at the DOJ Corral

Marc Sanchez Apr 13, 2012

You could almost hear the spurs pinging as Eric Holder left the podium Wednesday. He had just announced the Justice Department’s decision to file a collusion lawsuit against Apple and five book publishers over price fixing on e-books. Somebody cue the Morriconi music… Apple tugs on the brim of its dusty hat (bright white, naturally) and symbolically spits on the grounds as if to say, “Go ahead, partner. Lets do this dance.”
Dance? Bad western parodies? What? Look, all I’m trying to say is there are reports that the DOJ might have a tough go of taking Apple to task. If Apple, as the DOJ filing states, intended to “trounce” Amazon by opening its own e-bookstore and force other stores to follow its pricing structure, it didn’t really succeed. If I asked you where I could go and pick up a good e-book right now, chances are you’d tell me to click around on Amazon or Barnes & Nobel before sending me to iTunes.
All Things D has this statement from Apple about the collusion claim:
The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.
Read it again with a little twang in your voice. Now draw!


We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.