Apple hasn’t had much success convincing federal judges that there was no antitrust violation when it came up with the agency pricing model for e-books with five major publishers. While the publishers decided to settle instead of taking on the government, Apple fought and has lost at practically every turn.
With the case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, the American Booksellers Association, Barnes & Noble, Authors United, and the Authors Guild have chimed in on Apple’s behalf, asking the court to review the case in a friend-of-the-court brief. The document contends that instead of stifling competition, Apple’s entry into the market increased competition.
The brief lays much of the blame on Amazon for the anticompetitive atmosphere that existed before Apple got into the game. It also points to the 2014 dispute between Amazon and Hachette over e-book pricing as an example of punitive measures taken by Amazon against a publisher, according to a report in Shelf Awareness.
“We authors feel strongly that diversity, competition, and the free flow of ideas are key to a healthy marketplace of books,” Douglas Preston, founder of Authors United, wrote in the friend-of-the-court brief. “The numbers unequivocally show that Apple’s entry into the e-book market increased competition and gave authors and publishers greater choice in how content was delivered to the reading public.”