Jul
11
2013

More on Apple and the Mighty Anti-Trust Hammer of Maximum Fun.

The entire post by BeldarBlog analyzing the law decision behind Apple’s antitrust spanking is well worth perusing in full, so do so. But here’s a taste.

[Apple CEO Steve] Jobs was bragging in public about the price-fixing conspiracy that his company had organized and executed to fix ebook prices. The reason the publishers were threatening to withhold their books from Amazon altogether was because that was the key term in the conspiracy that Apple was proposing. Unless Amazon agreed to knuckle under to the “agency pricing” model that Apple wanted (because it would eliminate retail price competition in ebooks, to Apple’s benefit, and let Apple compete with Amazon on the basis of hardware, never price) — Amazon wouldn’t be able to sell ebooks at any price.

———–

This whole fact pattern would never make a good exam question in an antitrust course in law school. It’s way too easy. There’s an arsenal of smoking guns. It’s like no one at Apple ever heard of the Sherman Act.

And it looks like they’re going to pay for that lack of hearing, too. Guess they should have settled…

Via Instapundit.

Moe Lane

PS: Full disclosure, of course: I am an Amazon.com affiliate for Maryland.

6 Comments

  • Crawford says:

    They probably thought “Sherman Act” referred to sex in a WWII-era tank.

  • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

    Meh, “Anti-Trust law” is a mess. They can get you if your prices are the same as your competition (Price Fixing!!!!) (and what is your competition? What the “Anti-Trust” regulators say it is….). They can get you if your prices are lower (Predatory Tactics!!!!!). They can get you if your prices are higher (Monopoly Power!!!!). Heck, they will go after you if your’re giving it away for free, as we saw with Microsoft. Jobs was a Leftist, and it looks to me like he was moral enough to actually follow that legendary piece of Leftist advice, “If you’re going to be Raped, lay back and enjoy it.”……

    • Luke says:

      Anti-Trust law may be a mess, and the government may have abused it in the past.
      .
      That said, nakedly conspiring to fix prices is very clearly against the law, and directly at the heart of why anti-trust law was written in the first place.
      .
      Jobs wasn’t laying back and enjoying it. He organized it, and actively participated. Brilliant people are also extremely likely to do incredibly dumb things.

      • Robert Mitchell Jr. says:

        Except, of course, when the Government requires it at gunpoint, as with milk, and health care……

  • mb says:

    The Sherman Act? But that’s like, more than a hundred years old. How can something so old still be relevant? In fact, how can we even understand something written that long ago?

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