Apple faces more antitrust problems

The fruity cargo cult Apple is facing the price for refusing to admit that running an illegal pricing cartel to jack up the price of ebooks was wrong.

Jobs’ Mob’s co-conspirators have all confessed and paid a reduced fine, but Apple has a religious problem in putting up its hand and admitting that it did something wrong. The problem is that Steve Jobs said that it was right and, even though he is dead, Apple is having a hard time facing the reality that he might have been wrong.

Now things are starting to get worse for Apple which is spending a fortune on lawyers trying to fend off lawsuits which anyone outside its reality distortion field would say was a losing battle.

Yesterday Apple lost an attempt to dismiss lawsuits by state attorneys general accusing it of conspiring with five major publishers to fix ebook prices.

US District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling paves the way for attorneys general in 33 states and territories to move forward, along with attorneys for consumers, in pursuing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages at a July 14 trial.

Cote in July found that Apple from 2009 to 2010 conspired with the publishers to raise e-book prices and impede competitors such as Apple of course said it would appeal.

The states had tried to get an injunction against the iPad maker in September that called for the appointment of a compliance monitor. However, as the case moved into a damages phase, Apple argued that the states lacked standing to maintain an action for damages, arguing they had not alleged they had suffered any injury.

Cote said that it was easy to conclude the states had standing to move forward with the case and Apple’s defence seemed to be based on the argument “because we say so”.

The states’ case is being led by attorneys general in Texas and Connecticut and attorneys for the plaintiffs are seeking $840 million in damages.

To put this into perspective, the publishers previously agreed to pay more than $166 million to settle related antitrust charges. Apple, by denying it has done anything wrong, had refused to settle.