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Judge says 'issues have shifted' for DOJ e-book trial against Apple

A U.S. District Court Judge presiding over the Department of Justice's antitrust trial against Apple made a cryptic statement on Wednesday, saying the "issues have shifted" after hearing two weeks worth of testimony from both parties.

iBooks


With only one day remaining in the DOJ's e-book case against Apple, Presiding Judge Denise Cote offered her two cents on the previous two weeks of evidentiary findings, with the statement being a possible positive for the defense.

According to in-court reports from Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewit, Judge Cote made an unsolicited remark regarding what transpired during the proceedings.

"I thought I had prepared so well. I learned a lot," she said. "But you have helped me understand so much more through the evidence. It seems to me the issues have somewhat shifted during the course of the trial. Things change. People have to stay nimble. I'm looking forward to understanding where we are now."

The jurist could be referring to a a rare "tentative view" she offered before the trial got underway in June. At the time, Judge Cote appeared to side with the Justice Departments, saying it would likely be able to prove Apple colluded with five major book publishers to inflate e-book prices.

"I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that," Judge Cote said at the end of pretrial hearing in May.

Both sides will give their summations on Thursday, after which Judge Cote will consider the evidence and issue a ruling. There is no set timeline for a decision, but the average is about two months for a bench trial.