Apple has taken another blow in its popularized ebook price fixing trial, thanks to a newly presented e-mail written by Steve Jobs to Eddy Cue. The new evidence presented by the DOJ seems to show Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs disproving Apple’s current statement that it was “indifferent” to how book publishers set their prices for competing services like Amazon.
If you haven’t been following, Apple has been accused of purposefully and artificially creating a higher ebook price across the market. To do this, Apple reportedly pressured book publishers into selling their books to companies like Amazon at “agency model” pricing, which means that the book publisher picks the price that the the book sells for and then the retailer gets a cut of each copy sold. Apple claims, however, that it was indifferent to how book publishers set their prices for competing services.
The newly produced e-mail from Jobs to Cue reads, “I can live with this, as long as they move Amazon to the agent model too for new releases for the first year. If not, I’m not sure we can be competitive…” This e-mail was written less than two weeks before the release of the original iPad.
This e-mail seems to show that Apple was in fact more than just indifferent, and that the company actually did desire that other retailers adopted the agency model. Apple claims that this e-mail was in fact never actually sent out.
The DOJ had already produced an e-mail by Jobs in the past that suggested an agency model would result in overall higher prices for ebooks.
“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.”
While all the book publishers involved in the case have already paid out a settlement, Apple has decided to keep the case going into trial. Eddy Cue is set to take the stand tomorrow.