Tim Cook to Participate in Four Hour E-Book Testimony According to Judge's Ruling
The judge, presiding over a government antitrust case against Apple’s iBookstore, recently ruled that CEO Tim Cook must testify in the case. According to Reuters
, the ruling of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote means Cook will testify with the Justice Department for four hours. The ruling aligns with the wishes of government prosecutors who argued that Cook likely has relevant information about Apple’s entry into the e-books market.
The government has already deposed 11 other executives at Apple, prompting the company to call the desire to involve Cook “cumulative and duplicative.” Cote said his decision was also inspired by the death of Steve Jobs. Since Jobs is no longer alive, the government is “entitled to take testimony from high-level executives.”
For those of you who didn’t know, Apple was originally the target in the antitrust suit along with a number of book publishers. The companies settled with the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid a trial, leaving Apple as the lone holdout. The publishers, along with Apple were accused of collusion in raising e-book prices. Apple offered publishers the ability to set their own prices on its iBookstore through the “agency model” that the company was following. The deal marked a change from Amazon’s low margin wholesale model, which lets retailers buy content in bulk and sell it at or below cost. Apple and the publishers ended up favoring the agency model because it gave the publishers the ability to set their own prices and control what an e-book should cost.
As far as the case went, Apple denied the charges of collusion. The Cupertino California company and its publishing partners did relent and allow retailers such as Amazon to set their own e-book prices though. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the whole ordeal.