A lawyer in the high profile case over ebook price fixing is hoping a line of poetry will persuade a judge to stop the proceedings. Meanwhile, the judge said she will not collect a price-fixing refund as new prices go into effect today.
Last week, a federal judge approved the DOJ’s proposed settlement with Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins for allegedly conspiring with Apple to set ebook prices. What does the settlement mean for ebook prices now?
A surprise ruling last week will force publishers to tear up their e-book contracts with retailers. The ruling is scheduled to go into effect in the next few days and, if it does, Amazon and others will be allowed to slash the price of e-books. A prominent lawyer has filed a Hail Mary brief to stop the process.
Attorney and licensing expert Bob Kohn, who opposes the DOJ’s proposed ebook pricing settlement with three book publishers, has condensed his argument into comic strip form. He filed the artsy amicus brief with the court today.
The Department of Justice wants the court to accept its proposed ebook pricing settlement with Apple and book publishers, but presiding Judge Denise Cote is allowing more parties who oppose the settlement — the Authors Guild and attorney Bob Kohn — to weigh in as amici curiae.
In a filing late Wednesday in response to Apple and book publishers, the Department of Justice reiterates its claim that agency pricing and the alleged conspiracy have resulted in “unmistakable consumer harm,” but refuses to release its ebook pricing analysis.
Along with Apple, publishers Penguin and Macmillan and the Authors Guild submitted filings criticizing the DOJ’s proposed ebook settlement on Wednesday. They argue that the DOJ has not provided analysis of Amazon’s ebook pricing and say the settlement goes too far.
Apple says the DOJ’s proposed settlement with three publishers is unlawful because it requires Apple — which is not settling — to terminate its contracts with those publishers. A trial is needed, Apple says, as well as more scrutiny of Amazon’s role in the lawsuit.
In an amicus brief responding to the DOJ’s proposed ebook pricing settlement against Apple and publishers, attorney Bob Kohn says the DOJ unwittingly showed that Amazon used predatory pricing on ebooks, and asks that the DOJ’s investigation of Amazon be turned over to the court.
In response to an attorney’s letter criticizing the delayed publication of comments on the proposed ebook pricing settlement, the Department of Justice says it received over 800 comments and is “working expeditiously” to make them available to the public by July 20.