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Apple official says he ‘didn’t raise prices’ on e-books

Cecilia Kang (via WP Bloomberg/ AFR) | June 14, 2013
Apple senior executive Eddy Cue said in federal court Thursday that some popular e-book titles may have gotten more expensive after his company got into the business but that Apple was not to blame for those price hikes.

In response to a proposal from Cue to embrace the agency model, Jobs wrote: "I can live with this, as long as they move Amazon to the agent model too for new releases for the first year. If they don't, I'm not sure we can be competitive."

Cue said he never received the e-mail, which defense attorneys said was a draft.

In more than five hours of testimony in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Cue vigorously defended his negotiations as typical in the business world, similar to the deals he has struck for music and videos sold through the iTunes store.

Apple customers got "great prices, great selection, at a better bookstore," Cue said.

Cue offered mostly measured and brief responses to prosecutors' questions. His appearance in the packed courtroom was sharply different from the glitzy presentation he held for developers in San Francisco earlier this week. Breaking from the Apple custom of denims and dark shirts, he wore an ordinary gray suit and red tie.

Cue is scheduled to return to the courtroom for further testimony Monday.


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