A former iTunes engineer testified in an ongoing antitrust case against Apple that he worked on a project designed to “block 100 percent of non-iTunes clients” and “keep out third-party players” that competed with the company’s iPod music player.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal:
Plaintiffs subpoenaed the engineer, Rod Schultz, to show that Apple tried to suppress rivals to iTunes and iPods. They argue that Apple’s anticompetitive actions drove up the prices for iPods from 2006 to 2009; they’re seeking $350 million in damages, which could be tripled under antitrust laws.
The plaintiffs also tried to submit a 2012 academic paper in which Schultz wrote that “Apple was locking the majority of music downloads to its devices.” But U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers objected to the paper’s admission as case evidence.
Schultz, however, identified himself as an unwilling witness, saying he “did not want to be talking about” his work on iTunes from 2006 to 2007, before his departure from Apple in 2008.
Schultz even agreed with Apple’s argument that the relevant changes made to iTunes were not necessarily intended to cripple competition. “Apple says the security measures that Schultz worked on were designed to protect its systems and users’ experience, which would have been compromised by other players and file formats,” The Wall Street Journal notes.
In his deposition video played last week, the late Apple cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs said that the digital rights management protocols that Apple is being accused of having used to lock in users to its systems and cripple competition were implemented as part of the company’s copyright contracts with music labels.
Schultz was the last witness in the case, which Judge Rogers said will be deliberated upon by the jury early next week.
See also: Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs biopic to require only four shooting locations, The iPod Classic remains in high demand on the secondary market, 3 months after Apple retired it, and Media just want to show ‘a dead man’ in Steve Jobs deposition video, Apple lawyers say.