After hearing a recorded deposition of late founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, a federal judge
weighed whether to end the iPod pricing legal battle that has been ongoing for the last 10 years.
The deposition showed the jury that Mr. Jobs was ‘very scared’ regarding the hackers of the
iTunes service of the company. On Friday, Apple moved to get the class-action suit dismissed.
Consumers had claimed in the suit that the iPhone maker had suppressed competition in the
digital music industry. However, the American technology giant claimed that there was no case
because the named plaintiffs hadn’t owned the particular iPod models that were being blamed
so there was lack of proof.
On Friday, before the trial proceedings were initiated in Oakland, California, US District Judge
Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers informed the lawyers that the new filing made by Apple Inc. would
have to be reviewed and would be open for discussion on Monday. The attorneys of the plaintiff
also stated that they also needed to catch up on the filing made by the smartphone
manufacturer. They had just received the filing so didn’t get the time to review it, as per their
statement to the judge.
In this antitrust trial, the presence of Steve Jobs has been looming constantly. On Friday, the
deposition of the late founder was shown, which had originally been made in April 2011, nearly
six months before his death. According to the company’s executives, they had just wished to
prevent hackers from gaining access to its digital music systems and to keep its contracts with
music labels safe from the threat of piracy. This view was echoed by Mr. Jobs in the deposition.
The video showed him wearing his signature turtleneck and speaking in a raspy voice, the thin
Steve Jobs said there are lots of hackers out there trying to gain access to these systems and
they could do things that would cause the company to breach its contracts with music
Therefore, he said that iTunes needed heavy protection or else Apple would get sued and would
also become the recipient of nasty emails from record labels. However, when responding to
questions, he was unable to recall numerous events that occurred in the mid-2000s and are
also included in the trial. Total damages of $350 million are sought by the plaintiffs and as per
antitrust laws, this sum can also be tripled.
It was the aim of the plaintiffs to show that opponents had been edged out aggressively by Jobs
years earlier. An email sent on January 2004 was presented showing that Mr. Jobs wished to
leverage digital music technologies. Vice president of iTunes engineering, Jeff Robin had
testified the reputation of Apple Inc. would be at risk if it was unable to defend its digital music
system against rival music players and hackers. Nevertheless, the testimony may not be of any
importance if the company’s motion for the case’s dismissal is accepted if the iPod purchase
details of the plaintiffs don’t match.