June 26, 2012

Trial date set for U.S. v. Apple


Judge Denise Cote

A federal judge in New York has set a trial date of June 3, 2013 for U.S. v. Apple, 12-cv-02826, the e-book price-fixing action brought by the Department of Justice against Apple and two non-settling New York publishers, Penguin and Macmillan. The trial date was first reported by Bloomberg Businessweek.

According to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who is presiding over the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, “Several parties, Apple and DOJ are pushing for a trial as fast as can be accomplished that is consistent with justice.”

Businessweek also reports the settlement that was reached in April between the DOJ, fifteen states, Puerto Rico, and three publishers (Simon and Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins) will be finalized by August 10th:

Connecticut Assistant Attorney General Gary Becker told Cote today that a settlement with the three publishers and all 50 states would be agreed to by Aug. 10.

“We are in the process of getting the other states to sign on,” Becker said. “I think we’re off to a good start. I have no reason to believe they won’t sign up.”

Shepard Goldfein, a lawyer for Harper Collins, told Cote today that he was confident the accords with the states would “get done.”

No mention is made in the Bloomberg report of ongoing efforts to squash the proposed settlement, a move advocated by Barnes and Noble in a letter of complainant drafted by famed antitrust attorney David Boies (and covered previously on MobyLives here).

In an odd twist, as Laura Hazard Owen reports for PaidContent, if the date of the trial holds, the trial will “coincide with the beginning of BookExpo America … which will run from June 4-6, 2013.”


Kelly Burdick is the executive editor of Melville House.