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Apple to subpoena Amazon in e-book price fixing brouhaha


Apple wants the Department of Justice to turn over the interviews it conducted with Amazon employees as part of the ebook pricing lawsuit, according to “paidContent” (

In an August filing, Apple wrote: “Amazon was the driving force behind the Government’s investigation, and it told a story to the Government that has yet to be scrutinized. Amazon talked with the government repeatedly throughout the investigation, even hosting a two-day meeting at its Seattle headquarters.”

Apple’s fight to obtain the interviews came to light as result of court records that show Amazon attempting to quash the subpoena in Seattle federal court, notes “paidContent.” The judge in the case will “promptly address the discovery dispute” if the motion is transferred, the article adds.

Apple has been sued in Europe, the U.S. and Canada for collaborating with publishers to “fix” ebook prices. The brouhaha centers on Apple’s move to change the way that publishers charged for e-books as it prepared to introduce its first iPad in 2010. Traditionally, publishers sold books to retailers for roughly half of the recommended cover price. Under that “wholesale model,” booksellers were then free to offer those books to customers for less than the cover price if they wished.

Apple suggested moving to an “agency model,” under which the publishers would set the price of the book and Apple would take a 30% cut. However, Apple also insisted that publishers couldn’t let rival retailers sell the same book at a lower price.

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