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Steve Jobs' words could come back to haunt Apple, again

Steve Jobs' words could come back to haunt Apple, again

December 1, 2014

A long-running iPod-related antitrust case against Apple is finally set to begin tomorrow, Dec. 2, in a California courtroom. At issue is whether first-generation iPod devices were anti-competitive, according to The New York Times.

When the first iPods were released at the turn of the century, they would only play music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CD. This, according to the class action lawsuit, resulted in higher prices for consumers.

This is the third major antitrust lawsuit brought against Apple since the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs. Like the other two, emails and words from Jobs will play an important part of the case.

The report notes:

His emails in past lawsuits — a mix of blunt litigation threats against his opponents and cheery financial promises for potential business partners — have made him an exceptional witness against his own company, even beyond the grave

… Mr. Jobs’s emails and videotaped deposition taken before his death, plaintiffs’ lawyers say, will portray him as planning to break a competitor’s product to protect Apple’s grip on digital music.

“We will present evidence that Apple took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers,” said Bonny Sweeney, the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer.

In 2012, the U.S. government sued Apple and five other publishers for colluding to raise e-book prices. That case was finally resolved in November when a federal judge approved a settlement in which Apple could begin paying $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers. Jobs’ statements about e-book pricing have been cited as one of the reasons Apple lost in court.

Jobs’ words will also play a role in another lawsuit set to begin in January.

In 2010, Apple and five other Silicon Valley companies were accused in a class action of conspiring to keep wages down by agreeing not to recruit one another’s workers. The case arrives in court after a judge rejected a settlement agreement.

See also: ‘Black Swan’ star Natalie Portman rumored to join Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs biopic, and Formerly with Sony, Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs biopic picked up by Universal.

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