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Notes on Steve Jobs shelved in e-books antitrust case

The notes and related testimony from Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson will not be in play in the DOJ's antitrust case against Apple.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson won't have to show up in court.
Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson won't have to show up in court. Courtesy of Patrice Gilbert

The notes from biographer Walter Isaacson's numerous interviews with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will not be used as evidence in the Department of Justice's antitrust case against Apple.

That decision, made last week and reported earlier today by PaidContent, means that Isaacson will not have to testify either.

Isaacson is the author of "Steve Jobs," a book that chronicled the life of Jobs, based on interviews with the then-CEO of Apple, as well as his friends, family, colleagues, and rivals. It was published by Simon & Schuster (owned by CBS, parent company of CNET) weeks after Jobs' death in 2011 and became an instant best seller.

In its lawsuit against Apple and e-book publishers, the Department of Justice cited a section of the book in which Jobs discussed Apple's entry into the e-books market, comparing it to an "akido move" in the hopes of taking out rival Amazon.

In its rebuttal, Apple called the quote "hearsay" and "irrelevant." Even so, Isaacson was subpoenaed to be a part of the case, which came into contention, given shield laws designed to protect journalists and their sources.

Apple remains the sole defendant in the DOJ's e-books antitrust case, which was filed against Apple, News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Publishers (owned by Germany's Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck holding company), and Pearson PLC's Penguin Group in April 2012. Macmillan, which was the last holdout short of Apple, settled with the DOJ in early February.

This is not the first time Isaacson's book has been brought up for use as evidence in a court case. Controversial quotes made by Jobs, claiming Google's Android operating system was a "wholesale" rip-off of iOS, were deemed fair game as evidence in the spat between Apple and Motorola Mobility.