Apple Exec Eddy Cue Goes Defensive At E-Books Trial
Eddy Cue, the Apple Inc. executive in charge of negotiating the company’s controversial e-book deals, defended how the tech giant started its online bookstore as he made his highly anticipated appearance on the witness stand in a federal antitrust trial.
Cue testified that he didn’t know about any of the e-mails and more than 100 phone calls involving the CEOs of five of the biggest U.S. book publishers in late 2009 and early 2010.
Cue said he “struggled and fought” with the publishers, in individual talks before the introduction of the iPad, to get them to sign contracts to sell e-books on Apple’s iBookstore. Cue testified it’s his opinion the CEOs weren’t coordinating over their negotiations with Apple.
“If they were talking to one another, I would assume I would have had a much easier time getting those deals done,” Cue testified.
Steve Jobs closely monitored the negotiations but was “indifferent” about the outcome for Amazon, Cue testified. However, when asked if Jobs knew that there was a chance that once the iBookstore launched, publishers would withhold best sellers and new releases from Amazon, he responded, “I believe so, sure. Smart guy.”
When Tim Cook was asked about the trial during his recent appearance at the All Things D conference, he called the trial “bizarre,” noting that Apple wasn’t going to settle and effectively admit to something it didn’t do.
Cue’s testimony on Thursday marked the end of this week’s proceedings. The trial will resume next Monday and scheduled to wrap up late next week.