Earlier this week we reported that the Department of Justice had officially filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and other publishers relating to e-book price fixing. Yesterday evening, Apple responded to the Department of Justice, laying out their defense in four simple sentences:[quote]The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.[/quote]
As we expected, Apple is claiming that its e-book model helped to open up the market, not dominate it. When Apple first entered the e-book market, Amazon had a 90 percent share. Since then, Amazon’s marketshare has decreased to 60 percent. As an added benefit, Apple points out that the iBookstore has additionally fostered innovation in the industry. Apple also slyly passes the buck with their statement, pointing their finger at Amazon and the book publishers.
Something tells me this lawsuit is just warming up. Stick around; it’s about to get interesting.