Arlington, VA – 04/11/2012 – Arlington, Va., April 11, 2012 - The following statement can be attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, regarding the Obama Administration’s decision to sue e-book publishers for alleged antitrust violations:
“The decision by the U.S. government to sue Apple and book publishers for alleged antitrust violations over the price of electronic books marks another sad milestone in our government’s war on American companies. Apple is an American crown jewel that other nations covet, yet our own government leads an attack on its entry into electronic books.
“More, the legal theory of attacking a new market entrant for anti-competitive pricing is surprising. Apple’s iPad hardware and iBooks software have an estimated 10 to 15 percent of the market share in e-books. Our ambiguous antitrust laws are now being used to take on a new market entrant of just over two years as if they have the market power to set prices. This lawsuit combined with the action costing AT&T a $4 billion break-up fee in its attempted merger with T-Mobile, reflects on how our political leadership has ignored the reality that our nation, its businesses and our economy face serious economic challenges. Our government should be defending our leading companies from foreign attack, rather than attacking these companies so foreign governments will follow. Our government’s actions are catnip to the European Union and other governments seeking to extract money from successful American companies.
“Sadly, we’ve seen this before with absurd legal U.S. government challenges to Google, Intel, Microsoft and Qualcomm – world-class American innovators. Each time, no real harm was found, but our government’s attacks enabled others to extract billions in fines or foolish remedies.
“Our nation is heading toward an economic cliff, and the administration is not only putting its full weight on the accelerator, it is removing the airbags of innovation and growth, which are our best chance at safely avoiding economic catastrophe.”