Apple Delivered First Major Antitrust Loss

In a big rebuke, a federal judge just ruled that Apple colluded with publishers to raise the price of e-books. An Apple spokesman said the company will appeal, meaning this will drag on. But a few quick thoughts.

1) Lawyers previously told me that this could have big implications for how Apple negotiates media deals, and Apple itself argued during the trial that a ruling against it would chill dealmaking.

2) During years of covering Google, and reading up on Microsoft’s antitrust history, industry experts repeatedly told me that antitrust cases build over time and that smaller cases lead to bigger cases. Apple hasn’t faced much formal antitrust scrutiny so far. But if history is a guide, this could open the door to more inquiries into areas like the app store, particularly if competitors sense blood in the water. 

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