Walt Mossberg

Apple and the Justice Department made closing arguments in the ebook pricing case Thursday. Apple argued that a ruling against it would lead to a “chilling” effect on commerce and content markets in the U.S., while the DOJ said this is a straightforward antitrust suit and compared Apple and publishers to Saudi Arabian oil cartels.

While we wait for Judge Denise Cote’s verdict — which could take weeks or months — here’s a peek at some of the funniest and/or most interesting slides from the closing arguments.

Apple and the Department of Justice gave their opening statements in the e-book price-fixing case United States of America v. Apple Inc. The government presented a position based on interpretations of direct quotes from relevant documents where Apple allegedly discussed ways to raise e-book prices not only on its own platform, but across the industry. Apple defended itself by saying that it acted in no one’s business interests but its own … and the government is “trying to reverse engineer a conspiracy from market effect.”

In order for book publishers to make the same amount on books in the iBooks store, it seemed evident that they would have to charge more for the books sold there. But they didn’t. How did this happen?

The answer is revealed in the recent biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Buried in a section about the launch of the iPad is a juicy tidbit about how Jobs made an end run around Amazon to the publishers and basically forced Amazon to adopt a new policy in ebook pricing.

More Blogs