In what might prove a turning point of the closely watched ebook price-fixing trial currently playing out in lower Manhattan, Apple executive Eddie Cue admitted that his company’s deals with publishers caused the prices of some best-selling ebooks to rise.
According to C|Net, much of the trial hinges on whether ebook prices actually did rise following Apple’s entrance into the market in which it signed new deals with large publishers that had to be matched via a “most favored nation” clause by Amazon and other ebook retailers. Apple contends that prices fell overall but the Department of Justice says that prices on some best-selling ebooks rose sharply and that was damaging to consumers.
While Cue did acknowledge today in court that prices rose for some ebooks, he puts much of the onus on the publishers, which had control of pricing under Apple’s contracts.
“They had expressed they wanted higher prices from us,” he said, according to C|Net.