Confident about its case, Apple wants trial on eBook price fixing allegations

Confident that the US Department of Justice’s allegations that Apple sat down with book publishers to agree on eBooks prices are weak, the company wants to go to trial to defend itself, a lawyer for the company said today.

According to antitrust experts, the DoJ, which filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five other publishers last week has a weak case, and this probably explains why Apple is feeling so strong about the situation…

“Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits,” Apple lawyer, Daniel Floyd, told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. “We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.”

According to Reuters, the judge has scheduled the next hearing for June 22nd.

A few days ago, Apple released an official statement explaining its belief that the company broke Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.

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.

Books available in the iBookstore are indeed more expensive than eBooks sold by Amazon, but at least Apple leaves it to the publisher to set its own price, unlike Amazon who dictates the price of the eBooks the company sells.

It looks like this is just the beginning of yet another legal battle for Apple. We will of course post updates as details become available.