Apple defends its e-book pricing as “perfectly proper”

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In the latest court filing in the ongoing Justice Department e-books price-fixing suit, Apple said it did not conspire to fix the prices of digital books to hurt competitors and called the case “fundamentally flawed,” according to a Reuters report.

According to Reuters’ copy of the filing, Apple stated:

“Apple’s entry into e-book distribution is classic procompetitive conduct” that created competition where none existed, Apple said in its court papers.

“For Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market,” it added. “The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.”

Apple also denied that the government “accurately characterized” the comment attributed to Jobs.

The “comment attributed to Jobs” is referring to a January 2010 email from Steve Jobs in which he seems to suggest how to set prices of e-books between $12.99 and $14.99.

The “fundamentally flawed” characterization of the case by Apple in the latest filing is a slightly more agressive version of the company’s initial response to the suit last month, when Apple called the accusations from the DOJ “simply not true.”

In April, the DOJ filed suit against Apple and five publishers – Hachette, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins (who quickly agreed to settle), Macmillan and Penguin — accusing them of colluding to keep Amazon out of the e-book market unless it changed its pricing structure.

To get up to speed on the case since then, see my paidContent colleagues’ “Everything you need to know about the e-books lawsuit” post.

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