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Google exec takes fire in Apple cross-examination during e-book trial

updated 09:44 am EDT, Fri June 7, 2013

Collusion claims cast into doubt

The Department of Justice suffered an early blow in its antitrust case against Apple yesterday, reports say. Testifying in court was Google's director of strategic partnerships, Thomas Turvey. In previous written testimony, Turvey had claimed that representatives from book publishers told him in 2010 that they were switching to an agency model because Apple required it in its iBookstore contracts. Under cross-examination by Apple lawyer Orin Snyder however, it emerged that the written testimony was drafted with the help of Turvey's lawyers, and he was unsure who wrote the central allegations.

Turvey also proved unable to remember the names of any of the publishing representatives mentioned in his earlier statements, according to The Verge. He likewise admitted that while publishers moving to an agency model affected Google's business dealings, he couldn't recall the details of reported meetings on the topic. By the end of his court appearance on Thursday, Turvey is said to have gone from claiming publishing executives spoke to him directly to suggesting that they "likely" told someone on his team about Apple's tactics.

Turvey is scheduled to provide more testimony today. The trial is expected to last for the next two weeks; Apple is accused of colluding with book publishers to artificially inflate e-book prices, with the specific aim of sabotaging Amazon's low pricetags.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Translation: Google demanded a show trial of Apple when they spent their vast lobbying budget last year (highest in the tech industry, larger than the next two largest combined, nine times what Apple spent), this was the result, but since there was no actual basis to the charges it's all falling apart.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Is it just me, or has it taken all of two days for the DoJ's case to go from looking "borderline depending on how you view Amazon's monopoly position in ebooks" to trumped-up and almost completely baseless?

    I can see why Apple was willing to go to court on this one. What I can't see is why the spineless publishing houses folded so easily.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Makosuke: because it was cheaper, plus they got exactly what they wanted (not only is Amazon thriving on the agency model -- along with the publishers -- but the DOJ settlement restrictions expire in a year). The publishers are kind of leaving Apple out to dry, but I suspect they are lending some surreptitious support.

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