Apple, dealing with a lawsuit from the Department of Justice, won a small victory yesterday.
The DoJ alleges that Apple roped a bunch of book publishers into illegally fixing e-book prices.
Yesterday, the government called a Google executive, director of strategic partnerships Thomas Turvey, to the stand as a witness against Apple.
According to the Verge’s Greg Sandoval, who is covering the court proceeding better than anyone, Apple’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, mopped the floor with Turvey.
From the moment that Turvey sat down in the witness chair, Snyder began to attack his story. Turvey told the court that in early 2010, representatives of the five accused publishers, all of which have settled with the government, told him directly that they were switching to the agency model because contracts they entered into with Apple required it. But under oath, Turvey acknowledged that his lawyer helped him draft the statement that he filed with the court and that he was unsure whether he or his lawyer wrote important passages. “You can’t tell the court whether you wrote it or not,” Snyder told him multiple times.
Things went downhill from there. Under Snyder’s questioning, Turvey acknowledged that he couldn’t remember a single name of any of the publishing executives who had told him Apple was the reason the publishers were switching their business model. He conceded that the publisher’s move to the agency system was important to Google’s own business, yet Turvey couldn’t remember any details about the conversations with publishers. By the end of the interview Turvey had gone from saying the publishers had told him directly, to saying they had merely told people on his team, to finally saying the publishers had “likely” told someone on his team.
Finally, the judge stepped in to stop the beating, telling the court: “Let’s allow Mr. Turvey to escape so he can enjoy his Thursday.”
Later, Sandoval tweeted: “This is why you pay for good lawyers. Apple’s lawyers destroyed credibility of DOJ’s Google witness.”
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