So what is this Apple eBook conspiracy anyway? #

Ars Technica have the best description of it I’ve seen. A bit of read, but it lays out thinking of the Judge in the case. what surprised me is that the law allows a ‘balance of probabilities’ view to be taken account, so there’s less of a requirement for a smoking gun to make a case.

The agency model (along with publisher-set but capped prices of $12.99 to $14.99) made it profitable enough for Apple to open its own e-book store—so long as Amazon’s prices went up, too. Apple thus devised a Most Favored Nation (MFN) clause in its contracts with publishers which “guaranteed that the e-books in Apple’s e-bookstore would be sold for the lowest retail price available in the marketplace,” Cote wrote. For the publishers to charge up to $14.99 for e-books on Apple’s iBooks store, they had to raise prices on Amazon’s Kindle store as well by collectively forcing Amazon to accept the agency model.

The MFN approach “eliminated any risk that Apple would ever have to compete on price when selling e-books, while as a practical matter forcing the Publishers to adopt the agency model across the board,” the judge wrote.

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