Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s civil case in connection with accusations of e-book price fixing began on Monday as both sides outlined their sides of the case. CNN Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports that from those opening arguments, it looks like the Department of Justice is arguing based on the facts while Apple’s arguments are based on the law.
The DOJ’s Case Against Apple
The DOJ is working on making the case that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the “ringmaster” in the price fixing case, which involved not only the tech giant but also five publishers, each of which has settled with the DOJ individually already. Federal attorneys claim that Apple is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The government is basing its case on numerous emails, phone calls, text messages and even passages from a recent biography of Steve Jobs.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) says however, that the actions it took are just like those encouraged under the Sherman Act. The company also claims that there are Supreme Court decisions in past cases which protect its actions.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has said it uses the agency model when setting the prices for e-books. The agency model enables publishers to set their prices, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) keeps 30 percent. According to Apple, this model is used throughout the business world and hasn’t been found to be illegal in the past.
In addition, the company said distributors have legitimate reasons to talk about prices with manufacturers and that the Supreme Court typically rules against antitrust claims which have been filed against companies with relationships that are similar to Apple’s relationship with the publishers.
Apple even went so far as to say that the DOJ is twisting Jobs’ words around to make its case.
What’s Ahead In Apple’s Case?
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Tim Cook is expected to testify in the suit. A judge ordered him in March to do so. His testimony is expected to last for four hours as the DOJ believes Cook will be able to provide relevant information about the company’s entry into the e-book market.
The case will continue today. There’s no word on exactly when Cook’s testimony will come.