Bloomberg News

Steve Jobs Interviews Sought by Plaintiffs in E-Book Suit

July 20, 2012

Plaintiffs suing Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) over e-book price-fixing claims are seeking recordings and notes of interviews of Steve Jobs, the company’s late co-founder, from his biographer.

Walter Isaacson, author of “Steve Jobs,” published last year, has been subpoenaed to turn over recordings of interviews with Jobs, who died Oct. 5, Isaacson’s lawyers told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in a letter dated July 18 and filed today. The lawyers seeking the interviews claim they need the material to help prove their case.

“Mr. Isaacson conducted numerous interviews during the time Mr. Jobs was involved in negotiating Apple’s entry into the e-book market,” Steve Berman, a lawyer for a class of consumers suing the computer-maker, wrote in a letter to Cote dated July 16 and made public today. “Mr. Jobs discussed Apple’s e-book strategy and negotiations with Mr. Isaacson.”

The class action is one of a group of suits targeting alleged antitrust violations in the e-book market, which are consolidated before Cote in Manhattan federal court. The U.S. joined 15 states and Puerto Rico in claiming Apple, CBS Corp. (CBS:US)’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardere SCA (MMB)’s Hachette Book Group, News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin colluded to fix prices of e-books.

“The plaintiff may renew its application when it can show that it meets the test for disclosure of non-confidential material,” Cote said in a one-sentence, handwritten order today.

A voice-mail message seeking comment from a spokesperson at Cupertino, California-based Apple wasn’t immediately returned.

The case is U.S. v. Apple, 12-cv-02826, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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