E-book readers may soon have 500 million reasons to like a pair of rulings in Judge Denise Cote’s Manhattan federal courtroom this week. The only question is, “how soon?”
Moving to the “damages” phase of Apple’s e-book price-fixing case, Judge Cote granted class action status in the state and consumer cases, while she rejected allowing trial testimony from Apple’s two expert witnesses.
“These rulings are a double whammy for Apple,” says Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “The damages trial was basically going to be a one day affair in which expert witnesses testify about, well, damages. But now Apple’s case has been essentially knocked out, as its two main witnesses—economists Joseph Kalt and Jonathan Orszag—were barred from presenting their opinions. In her written opinion, Cote systematically took apart Kalt’s and Orszag’s findings, found them fundamentally flawed, and held that would only serve to confuse, or, in some cases, even mislead a jury.”
In her ruling, however, Judge Cote did say that an Apple witness could testify on one matter—a re-running of the plaintiff expert’s damages model. “What that tells me, is that the judge could use Apple’s running of the plaintiffs model as a floor,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.