Shanks: 'We clashed with Apple'

Penguin Group c.e.o. David Shanks has testified in support of Apple on day two of the anti-trust case over e-book price fixing in New York yesterday (4th June).

Shanks said "irrational enthusiasm" about the potential for Apple's customers to buy books online led the company to meet Apple's contract demands in 2010, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Shanks was shown a copy of Winnie-the-Pooh and conceded it looked better in colour on Apple devices rather than in black-and-white on other devices.

However the Wall Street Journal reports that Shanks also told the court that, rather than conspiring together, Apple and Penguin clashed on many contract terms. He said that Penguin had initially proposed a wholesale pricing model with Apple, but that Apple opted for the agency model. Shanks also reported he had tried to get Apple to abandon price caps of $12.99 and $14.99, and a price-matching provision that was included in the final
contract.

Shanks is reported saying: "I did not get the deal I wanted, but I wanted to be sold to Apple's customers."

Shanks said he had sought assurances from Apple that other publishers were agreeing to the same terms, but that this was because he feared the repercussions of adopting the agency model without other publishers, and Penguin also wanted to be sure Apple's digital library would stock a wide enough selection of titles to attract customers.

Meanwhile, Publishers Marketplace reports that the second day of the trial saw the Department of Justice's attorney Mark Ryan trying to demonstrate that Apple wanted to require publishers to change their terms of sale with all retailers. Apple counsel Kevin Saul argued he was only giving advice, and that Apple only cared about their own deals.

The case is being heard in New York and is expected to last for three weeks.