In the middle of an antitrust row with the US government, Apple claims that all the charges laid against it are untrue.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris, who rarely says anything, said that the launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.
This indicates that Apple’s strategy is not to deny price fixing as such, but to claim that it was not antitrust because it fostered competition with Amazon.
The US government had sued Apple and five publishers, saying they conspired to fix the prices of electronic books. Three of them have already settled.
Kerris said it is exactly the same as the current pricing structure in the mobile software store.
What Kerris is claiming, is that just as Apple has allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.
It is an interesting cunning plan, and might have worked if iPads had not become so dominant in the market. When iPads took off, the fact that you could not buy some books without buying one of Jobs’ Tablets was bad enough, but when you had to pay even more for the experience it was a little unpleasant.
The Tame Apple press thinks that Apple could walk on the deal while leaving its publishing partners to get it in the neck. However, Jobs’ Mob has to face some fairly unpleasant questions about what Steve Jobs actually said in his official biography about how he stung users with his little cartel.