What’s Next In Apple’s E-Book Trial?

The past week of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) antitrust e-book trial has been interesting to say the least. Earlier this week, observers were treated to the strange spectacle of watching a government attorney argue with an Apple executive over whether or not Apple’s iBookstore was a commercial success or failure.

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Then in another stunning development, the government unveiled an incriminating email written by Steve Jobs that seemed to be a coup de grace to Apple’s chances of winning this case. However, in yet another twist, Apple’s lawyers countered with their own email written by Jobs and revealed that the email the government was using as evidence was merely a draft copy.

Finally, the week closed out with testimony from Apple executive Eddy Cue, who has been described by a U.S. Department of Justice lawyer as “the chief ringleader of the conspiracy.” Besides putting up a spirited defense of Apple’s negotiating tactics, Cue also revealed that Apple once considered making a deal with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that would have split the digital content market between the two companies, with Amazon handling books and Apple taking music.

However, Apple never actually moved forward with the proposed digital market deal. It’s a good thing too, since the deal would have been highly illegal under antitrust laws.

So what drama can Apple trial observers look forward to this week? First of all, we have more testimony from Cue to look forward to when the executive returns to the stand on Monday, June 17. After enduring the government’s hostile questioning last week, Cue will now have the opportunity to give his side of the story when he is questioned by Apple’s lawyers. Judge Denise Cote is also expected to have a few questions for Cue, so it will be interesting to see if this reveals any other startling insider information.

Secondly, we can expect to hear a lot more from Apple. After Cue takes the stand on Monday, the government is widely expected to rest its case. This will give Apple more of an opportunity to give its side of the story, as it will present evidence that tries to show that the e-book market wasn’t negatively affected by Apple’s deals with the various publishers.

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Finally, Apple fans can look forward to the end of the trial this week. Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday, June 20. The case is U.S. v. Apple Inc., 12-02826. Here’s how Apple traded last week.


Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

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