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DoJ v. Apple e-book trial moves into defense phase

updated 03:44 pm EDT, Mon June 17, 2013

Witnesses to include current iTunes, iBookstore heads

The Department of Justice's antitrust case against Apple is entering its final four days this week, according to Fortune. The original orchestrator of Apple's publisher deals for the iBookstore, Eddy Cue, is resuming court testimony today, having last testified on Thursday afternoon. Today's topics are expected to include a dinner Cue had with Macmillan's CEO, and disputed emails written to Cue by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

After lawyers have finished with Cue the DoJ will rest its case, turning it over to the defense. Apple is slated to call several witnesses, including iBookstore head Rob McDonald, who helped arrange Cue's initial meetings with publishers in December 2009. Another Apple executive on the stand will be Eric Gray, the director of operations for iTunes.

One of the most important witnesses may be Theresa Horner, the head of digital content at Barnes & Noble. The bookseller was suffering heavy losses trying to match Amazon's $10 e-book pricing in 2009, and is said to have been talking to publishers about inflating e-book prices before Apple began any iBookstore talks.

Cornerstone Research's Dr. Michelle Burtis is expected to claim that Apple helped or at least didn't harm the e-book industry with its arrival. Dr. Ben Klein, professor emeritus of economics from UCLA, will argue that Apple price-matching deals couldn't have pushed publishers into renegotiating with Amazon. Finally, University of Chicago economics professor Dr. Kevin Murphy should bring up the Supreme Court's Monsanto v. Spray-Rite case, suggesting that there was no conspiracy if Apple acted purely in its own interests.

Case summations are due on Thursday. After that US District Judge Denise Cote will need time to come to a decision, which could take weeks.



By Electronista Staff
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