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DoJ Apple E-Books Trial Judge: ‘Issues Have Shifted’

DoJ Apple E-Books Trial Judge: ‘Issues Have Shifted’

The judge presiding over the Department of Justice’s antitrust trial against Apple made an intriguing statement on Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote said the “issues have shifted” after hearing testimony from both parties.



With only one day remaining in the DOJ’s e-book case against Apple, Presiding Judge Denise Cote offered her two cents on the previous two weeks of evidentiary findings, with the statement being a possible positive for the defense.

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewit reports that Judge Cote made an unsolicited remark regarding what transpired during the proceedings.

“I thought I had prepared so well. I learned a lot,” she said. “But you have helped me understand so much more through the evidence. It seems to me the issues have somewhat shifted during the course of the trial. Things change. People have to stay nimble. I’m looking forward to understanding where we are now.”

The judge could be referring to her view offered before the trial got underway earlier this month. Judge Cote appeared to side with the Justice Department at that time, when she opined that the DoJ would likely be able to prove that Apple had colluded with five major book publishers to raise e-book prices.

“I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that,” Judge Cote said at the end of pretrial hearing in May.

Thursday will see both sides give their summations, after which the judge will consider the evidence, and then issue her ruling. On average, the timeline is about two months for rulings in bench trials.