This trial is explicitly not about what Amazon has or has not done, but it is concerned with overall competition in the ebook market. Apple should absolutely be forced to compete on a level playing field with other ebook retailers, but if the goal of antitrust law is the restoration of unrestrained competition, stringing an injunctive albatross around Apple’s corporate neck hampers that aim. I tend to agree with Judge Cote that Apple’s actions in the days leading up to the iBookstore launch were anticompetitive, but given that the settlements with the publishers put an end to the offending agreements, it’s hard to see any benefit to consumers in the DoJ’s Proposed Final Judgment.
-Adam Engst, TidBITS
Adam Engst has by far had some of the best coverage the the Apple ebook trial and I have really enjoyed his insights, and, it seems, so have the majority of the tech news. I haven’t really put in my two cents about the whole trial, but I think there are a lot of idiosyncrasies that cause me some heartburn for the ebook industry as a whole. I think the ebook market and the consumer should be where the focus currently stands and that is not what I am seeing.
My sentiment, as I stated previously on Twitter, is this: how is taking Apple out of the ebook market entirely helping competition? And how would the DoJ’s moves be helping the consumer in any way? It seems to me, the only entity the proposal helps is Amazon and they are already in a monopolistic position in the ebook market.
Posted: August 8, 2013