Courtesy of Publishers Weekly…
In a motion made Wednesday, the Department of Justice says that arguments made by Apple, Macmillan and Penguin as well as the friend of the court brief filed by the ABA and Barnes & Noble objecting to the final judgment reached between the government and Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster over e-book price fixing charges raise no real new issues and therefore asks that the court approve the agreement without further hearings.
The DoJ maintains that arguments made by the parties that the government doesn’t understand the e-book business is just a variation made by other industries at other times. “While e-books are a relatively new arrival on the publishing scene, a plea for special treatment under the antitrust laws is an old standby,” the DoJ wrote. “Railroads, publishers, lawyers, construction engineers, health care providers, and oil companies are just some of the voices that have raised cries against ‘ruinous competition’ over the decades. Time and time again the courts have rejected the invitation to exempt particular businesses from the reach of the Sherman Act.”
The new brief rebuts the separate filings made by Apple, Macmillan, Penguin and the ABA/Barnes & Noble. In dismissing the Penguin brief that argues that, overall, e-book prices have come down since the implementation of the agency model, the DoJ points to its own study that shows that the average price of a Penguin title sold through Amazon rose 17% after the implementation of the agency model and that the average price of new releases rose 21%. The DoJ provided two exhibits to support its claim of price increases, but continued to assert that it does not need to produce its internal economic analyses.
You can read the article in its entirety here: DoJ Says Court Should Approve E-book Deal
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