The Department of Justice suffered an early blow in its antitrust case against Apple yesterday, reports say. Testifying in court was Google's director of strategic partnerships, Thomas Turvey. In previous written testimony, Turvey had claimed that representatives from book publishers told him in 2010 that they were switching to an agency model because Apple required it in its iBookstore contracts. Under cross-examination by Apple lawyer Orin Snyder however, it emerged that the written testimony was drafted with the help of Turvey's lawyers, and he was unsure who wrote the central allegations.
Turvey also proved unable to remember the names of any of the publishing representatives mentioned in his earlier statements, according to The Verge
. He likewise admitted that while publishers moving to an agency model affected Google's business dealings, he couldn't recall the details of reported meetings on the topic. By the end of his court appearance on Thursday, Turvey is said
to have gone from claiming publishing executives spoke to him directly to suggesting that they "likely" told someone on his team about Apple's tactics.
Turvey is scheduled to provide more testimony today. The trial is expected to last for the next two weeks; Apple is accused of colluding with book publishers to artificially inflate e-book prices, with the specific aim of sabotaging Amazon's low pricetags.