Amazon Has Gone Too Far

Philip Elmer-DeWitt | CNN Money | May 25, 2014

The e-book monopolist, having strong-armed Hachette, may finally get its day in court.

Because it was Apple (AAPL) that got sued for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, not Amazon (AMZN), the federal judge who decided the case last July was able to ignore the facts on the ground:

Namely, that

  • Amazon had monopoly control of the e-book market
  • Amazon kept competitors at bay by pricing publishers' bestselling e-books below cost
  • Amazon ruthlessly enforced its control. When challenged in 2010 by Macmillan, one of the big five publishers, Amazon simply pulled the "buy" button off Macmillan's books.

Apple tried to raise these facts in its defense, but U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, in the ruling that found that Apple had conspired with five publishers to raise the price of e-books, dismissed them in two sentences...