Judge in E-Book Pricing Case Thinks Apple’s Going Down; Apple Begs to Differ
Apple hasn’t formally argued its position in the U.S. government’s e-books antitrust case against it; indeed, the trial hasn’t even begun. Yet already the federal judge presiding over the hearing has gone on record as saying Apple is likely to lose the case.
Asked during a pretrial hearing Thursday for her thoughts on a likely outcome, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said her view is that the U.S. Justice Department will prevail over Apple.
Said Cote, “I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that.”
Though delivered with a caveat noting that she has not yet reviewed all the evidence in the case, and that her view was delivered without “the benefit of the testimony of the witnesses and further argument from counsel,” Cote’s remarks are a little unusual, to say the least, and don’t bode particularly well for Apple’s chances at trial.
That said, they also don’t reflect particularly well on Cote’s impartiality. The case hasn’t even been heard, and she has just gone on record saying she is reasonably certain that the plaintiff will win. And while her comments don’t quite rise to the level of smack talk that undermined Thomas Penfield Jackson’s ruling in the United States v. Microsoft case, one could imagine them resurfacing at a later date in an appeal if this trial goes south for Apple. Cote here is commenting on a potential outcome for the case without having heard testimony from Apple’s witnesses or the cross-examination of the DOJ’s witnesses. That’s a crucial test of truth. And if this case does end up in appeal, Cote’s apparent prejudging here could be harmful to her ruling.
Apple disputed Cote’s remarks and characterized them as premature.
“Apple fundamentally disagrees with the judge’s preliminary comments,” Apple attorney Orin Snyder told AllThingsD. “We look forward to presenting our side of the evidence and bringing our witnesses to court. We will prove that Apple did nothing wrong and that consumers greatly benefited from Apple’s entry into a new and emerging market.”
The case heads to bench trial on June 3.
- Apple Doesn’t Want to Pay the Feds’ E-Book Lawyer $70,000 a Week
- Apple Files Expected Appeal of E-Book Injunction
- Apple’s E-Book Punishment Court Order is Final, and Not as Bad as Apple Feared
- The Incredible Shrinking Apple E-Book Remedy
- Apple Says DOJ’s E-Book Remedies Are Biased in Amazon’s Favor
- DOJ Softens Proposed Apple Ebook Injunctions, Slightly
- Apple Slams Feds’ Proposed E-Book Remedies as a “Draconian and Punitive Intrusion”
- Apple’s Chances for an E-Book Ruling Appeal Are Lousy, Say Legal Scholars
- Apple E-Books Ruling Won’t Do Much For Consumers
- Apple Loses E-Book Antitrust Trial
- Here’s Apple’s Closing Slide Deck in E-Book Case, and the DOJ’s, Too
- Apple: It’s Time to Close the Book on DOJ’s E-Book Case
- Steve Jobs, Winnie the Pooh and the iBook Launch
- The Apple iBooks Origin Story
- Apple’s Cue Says Publishers Pushed for Higher E-Book Prices
- DOJ Misfires on Jobs Email in Apple E-Book Case — It Was a Discarded Draft
- Is Steve Jobs Message a Smoking Gun in Apple E-Book Case?
- Amazon Demanded Same Terms From Publishers For Which Apple is Now On Trial
- Apple Says Differences in Publisher Deals Belie E-Book Conspiracy Charges
- Apple Accuses DOJ of Unfairly Twisting Steve Jobs’s Words
- Apple Says DOJ Is Trying to “Reverse Engineer a Conspiracy” in E-Books Case
- Here’s the DOJ’s E-Book-Pricing Case Against Apple (Slide Deck)
- Apple CEO Tim Cook: “The E-Book Case to Me Is Bizarre”
- Judge in E-Book Pricing Case Thinks Apple’s Going Down; Apple Begs to Differ
- Here’s That Steve Jobs E-Book Email to James Murdoch
- Apple’s E-Book Argument: Deals With Publishers Improved Competition
- DOJ Filing Calls Apple “Ringmaster” of E-Book Pricing Rise
- Apple Alone Fighting DOJ E-Book Suit After Macmillan Settlement
- Apple’s Cook Must Testify in E-Book Antitrust Suit