updated 11:24 pm EDT, Wed June 12, 2013
Jobs' tone, content of mail differ entirely than DoJ draft email
In the e-book price fixing case between the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and Apple, the Cupertino manufacturer has submitted the actual sent email from then-CEO Steve Jobs to Eddy Cue, which has both a different tone and substantially different content to the hostile "draft" email (never sent) that the DoJ raised as evidence of an intent to force Amazon to accept higher prices by colluding with the book publishers earlier in the case.
Jobs' actual sent email does not contain any verbiage pointing to collusion with publishers with the intent to push Amazon to the agency model Apple wanted. The email does address the concern that publishers may side with both Apple and Amazon, and continue extant pricing deals with Amazon.
The email sent from the CEO in response to a pricing suggestion by Cue said that "I can live with this, as long as they also agree to the other thing you told me you can get: The retail price they will set for any book will be the lower of the applicable 'iTunes' price below or the lowest wholesale price they offer the book at to anyone else, with our wholesale price being 70 percent of such price. For example, normally our retail price for a $26 book will be $12.99 and we will pay 70 percent of that, or $9.10. However, if they offer the same book to Amazon for a wholesale price of, say $12.50, then our retail price for the same book shall be set at $12.50 and we will pay 70 percent of that price for the book."
Lead counsel Orin Snyder pointed out the inherent unfairness of using Jobs' words against Apple in the case without the man being alive to provide perspective on the testimony. Snyder argued during the opening the case that there is "something inherently unfair and uncomfortable about placing such reliance on the out-of-court statements of someone who's not here to explain them or place them into context -- particularly when in almost every instance, the government either omits key language to draw an inference, or blatantly mischaracterizes what the statements mean."
The e-book case is expected to continue for at least another week. Cue is scheduled to begin testimony tomorrow.