Eddy Cue did the legwork, but the deal had Steve Jobs written all over it
After the 56 phone calls in the space of two months, the clandestine meetings in swank Manhattan eateries, the secret e-mails “double erased” to ensure they couldn’t be traced, it all boiled down to three days in January 2010, when Eddy Cue, Apple’s (AAPL) vice president of Internet services, pushed five of the six leading book publishers for a “final go-no go” decision on an agreement that the Department of Justice has described as a “per se violation” of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The complaint filed in federal court Wednesday reads like a conspiracy novel, and it reaches its climax on page 25 of 36:
Central to the government’s objection to the agreement is a clause that was added in early January. It’s a clever — if legally problematic — piece of dealmaking that has the feel of something Steve Jobs might dream up:
A few pages later, Apple’s Pete Alcorn describes a meeting with Cue and another Apple executive:
I don’t usually recommend DOJ complaints as good bedtime reading. This one may be the exception. You can get the pdf here.