Apple: We wanted a 'level playing field' for publishers

NEW YORK -- Apple argued that it had fought for equality among publishers big and small as it provided a rare glimpse into its negotiating tactics during the second day of the government's e-book price-fixing trial.

Kevin Saul, one of the key attorneys tasked with making deals for Apple's music, TV, books, and similar businesses, faced more grilling on Tuesday from U.S. Department of Justice attorney Mark Ryan over whether Apple knew and cared about the pricing of its competitors -- a key factor in the case, which accuses Apple of conspiring to control e-book pricing.

"We wanted to treat everybody on a level playing field such that big publishers would be treated the same as small publishers," Saul argued. "It was all about Apple and our ability to launch a bookstore that would be the best on the planet."

During the round of questioning in which he repeatedly answered, "I don't know" or "I don't recall," Saul portrayed Apple as "indifferent" to pricing deals publishers reached with other retailers. He also testified that negotiations with publishers were "difficult" and "challenging" and that many initially rejected some of Apple's "must-have" provisions, including a so-called "most-favored nation" clause that would allow Apple to meet the lower pricing of e-books by any other retailer...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET