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Apple warns guilty ebook verdict would 'send shudders through the business community'

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Gallery Photo: iBooks 2 event hands-on
Gallery Photo: iBooks 2 event hands-on

During closing arguments at the ebook price-fixing trial, Apple told the court that a guilty ruling would "send shudders through the business community." According to Reuters, Apple lawyer Orin Snyder explained that such a ruling would condemn the ordinary negotiations that companies undertake to enter new markets. "We submit a ruling against Apple on this record sets a dangerous precedent," he continued.

Apple stands accused of conspiring with publishers to fix the price of ebooks at $12.99 or $14.99, at a time when Amazon sold many titles at $9.99. But the Department of Justice, which is pursuing the case, isn't seeking damages from Apple. Instead it wants to prohibit the company from using the "agency model" or price-parity contract clauses for two years and five years, respectively. The full slide decks from both Apple and the Department of Justice's closing arguments have already been made available online. The case will be decided by judge rather than jury, and with closing arguments already in, a verdict is expected in the coming weeks.