苹果反垄断案 乔布斯还魂作证
本文摘要:SAN FRANCISCO — Three years after his death, Steve Jobs is very much a presence in courtrooms across the country.旧金山——史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)已去世三年,但在相当大程度上,人们仍然能在美国各地的法庭上感受到他的影响。


SAN FRANCISCO — Three years after his death, Steve Jobs is very much a presence in courtrooms across the country.旧金山——史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)已去世三年,但在相当大程度上,人们仍然能在美国各地的法庭上感受到他的影响。And that’s not necessarily good news for Apple.但对苹果公司(Apple)而言,这不一定是好消息。

Next month, the company is set to go to trial in the third major antitrust lawsuit it has faced since Mr. Jobs died. His emails will play an important role in the case, as they did in the last two. But lawyers will probably have to work hard to give his statements a positive spin. The potential damages — around $350 million — are a pittance for a company that in its last quarter had an $8.5 billion profit.下个月,苹果公司将出庭审讯,这是乔布斯去世以来该公司面对的第三宗大型反垄断诉讼。和之前的两起案件一样,他的电子邮件将在这起案件中起着最重要起到。但代理律师有可能必需下些功夫,才能用正面的说词说明乔布斯说道过的话。

此案的赔偿金有可能高达3.5亿美元(约合22亿元人民币),但对于这家上季度盈利85亿美元的公司而言,这笔钱不足挂齿。Executives are often told by their lawyers to be careful what they put in writing for fear it will end up as evidence in a courtroom. Perhaps Mr. Jobs did not get the memo. His emails in past lawsuits — a mix of blunt litigation threats against his opponents and cheery financial promises for potential business partners — have made him an exceptional witness against his own company, even beyond the grave.律师经常让企业高管留意书面的内容,原因是担忧它们最后不会沦为呈圆形堂证供。也许乔布斯没接到过律师的警告。

尽管他早已去世,但在过去的案件中,乔布斯的电子邮件却让他沦为了一个最重要的证人,只是对自己的公司有利——那些邮件中,既有控告输掉的赤裸裸的威胁,也有对潜在商业伙伴愿许下的财务允诺。The emails in all these cases present the good and bad of Steve Jobs — charmer and bully, someone who may not always have played by the rules.所有这些案件中牵涉到的电子邮件,呈现了乔布斯好的一面和很差的一面——内敛极具魅力,内敛横行霸道,而且并不总是按规矩办事。

He was a “genius in terms of his vision for the future,” said Michael A. Carrier, a professor at Rutgers School of Law. “But it went along with a really healthy ego and perhaps the lack of an antitrust filter — thinking about how these words would appear years later tossed up on the screen in front of a jury.”“谈及对未来的设想,他是个天才,”罗格斯大学法学院(Rutgers School of Law)教授迈克尔·A·卡里尔(Michael A. Carrier)说道,“但他同时又知道很固执,有可能也缺乏一个‘反垄断过滤器’。他没想到多年以后,这些话又不会经常出现在陪审团面前的屏幕上。

”The latest case to bring Mr. Jobs’s spirit into a courtroom is set to begin on Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. It is a class action involving older iPods, which played only songs sold in the iTunes Store, or those downloaded from CDs, not music from competing stores. The plaintiffs are consumers who say Apple violated antitrust law because to keep their music, people had to stay with the iPod, and buy higher-priced ones rather than cheaper, alternative music players. Apple has since discontinued this system.最近这起让乔布斯的灵魂踏上法庭的案件,订于周二在加州奥克兰开庭。这是一起集体诉讼,牵涉到版本值得注意的iPod。

它们不能播出iTunes Store销售的音乐,以及从CD上给定的音乐,无法播出从输掉的商店出售的音乐。作为原告的消费者称之为,苹果违背了反垄断法,因为为了保有出售的音乐,人们被迫仍然用于iPod,出售价格较高的iPod产品,而非更加低廉的其他音乐播放器。

苹果早已中止了这一作法。Mr. Jobs’s emails and videotaped deposition taken before his death, plaintiffs’ lawyers say, will portray him as planning to break a competitor’s product to protect Apple’s grip on digital music.原告律师称之为,乔布斯的电子邮件,以及他去世前录音的证词视频指出,为了维护苹果对数字音乐的掌控,他想搞垮竞争对手的一款产品。“We will present evidence that Apple took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers,” said Bonny Sweeney, the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer.“我们将呈圆形上证据,指出苹果采行了遏止竞争对手的行动,并在此过程中阻碍了竞争,伤害了消费者的利益,”首席原告的代理律师邦尼·斯威尼(Bonny Sweeney)说道。

Apple declined to comment.苹果拒绝接受置评。A few of the emails have already been made public. In one, sent in 2003 to other Apple executives, Mr. Jobs expressed concern about Musicmatch, a software company, opening its own music store.其中几封电子邮件已被公开发表。2003年,乔布斯在发给苹果其他高管的电子邮件中,传达了对Musicmatch的忧虑。这家软件公司当时要启动自己的音乐商店。

“We need to make sure that when Music Match launches their download music store they cannot use iPod,” he wrote. “Is this going to be an issue?”“我们必须保证Music Match在公布他们的iTunes音乐商店时,没法用iPod,”他写到。“这不会沦为问题吗?”More emails are expected to become public during the trial.预计不会有更加多电子邮件在周二开始的庭审期间被公之于众。In this case, the overwhelming impression of Mr. Jobs is likely to be of an aggressive businessman eager to ensure and protect the iPod’s success. In other cases tried since his death, he appears in a far less flattering light — as a ruthless executive willing to strong-arm smaller companies.在这起案件中,乔布斯给人留给的最主要的印象,有可能是一个咄咄逼人的商人,他迫切希望确保和保卫iPod的顺利。

在他去世后开庭的其他案件中,也引人注目了他负面的形象。他给人的印象是一名严苛的高管,讨厌威逼较小的公司。In 2010, Apple and five other Silicon Valley companies were accused in a class action of conspiring to keep wages down by agreeing not to recruit one another’s workers. The case is set to go to trial in January, after the judge rejected a settlement agreement. Mr. Jobs will be a star witness — or his words will.在2010年的一起集体诉讼中,苹果和另外五家坐落于硅谷的公司被控合谋以不雇用对方员工的方式,来太低工资。在法官驳回了一项妥协协议后,该案订于明年1月转入审判程序。

到时候乔布斯又不会沦为明星证人,最少他的话又不会沦为最重要证词。Plaintiffs’ lawyers have portrayed Mr. Jobs as a ringleader of the conspiracy, pointing to his emails like one sent in 2006 to Eric Schmidt, a Google executive.原告律师称之为,乔布斯是串通事件中的主谋。

律师提及了他的一些电子邮件,其中还包括他在2006年发送给谷歌公司(Google)高管埃里克·施密特(Eric Schmidt)的那封。“I am told that Googles new cellphone software group is relentlessly recruiting in our iPod group,” Mr. Jobs wrote, according to the court documents. “If this is indeed true, can you put a stop to it?”法庭文件表明,乔布斯写到,“我听闻,谷歌手机软件新的团队正在连续不断地从我们的iPod团队挖人。如若有误,你能阻止此事吗?”Mr. Jobs also tried to make a no-poaching agreement with Palm. When a Palm executive rejected that idea in an email, Mr. Jobs replied, “My advice is to take a look at our patent portfolio before you make a final decision here” — a threat to embroil Palm in patent litigation.乔布斯还尝试与Palm达成协议一项避免挖人的协议。

当Palm的一名高管在电子邮件驳回了这一建议时,乔布斯恢复说道,“我的建议是,在你就此事作出最后要求前看一眼我们的专利资产”——这是在威胁要对Palm发动专利诉讼。In 2012, the Justice Department accused Apple and five other publishers of colluding to raise e-book prices. In the trial, government lawyers showed an excerpt from Mr. Jobs’s authorized biography in which he said he wanted publishers, not retailers, to set the price of titles.2012年,司法部(Justice Department)指控苹果和其他五家出版商串通一气,提升电子书的价格。庭审期间,政府的代理律师索取了摘录自乔布斯许可的传记的部分内容。

在那部传记中,乔布斯称之为他期望给各类出版物定价的是出版商,而非零售商。“Yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway,” Mr. Jobs told the publishers, the biography said.“是的,消费者多花上了点钱,但不管怎么说道,这也是你们期望的结果,”在这本自传中,乔布斯告诉他出版商。

Throughout the trial, government lawyers frequently brought up an email written by Mr. Jobs to a media executive, in which he suggested that by teaming up with Apple, publishers could sell titles for higher than Amazon’s $9.99 pricing for e-books.整个庭审过程中,政府律师多次提及一封乔布斯寄给某媒体高管的电子邮件,乔布斯在信中似乎说道,只要与苹果合作,出版商就能以低于亚马逊原作的9.99美元的价格销售图书。“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99,” he wrote.“和苹果合作吧,想到我们能否制成这件事:以12.99美元和14.99美元的图书定价打造出一个确实的主流电子书市场,”他写到。

A federal judge found Apple liable in the case, and on Nov. 21 approved a settlement in which Apple could begin paying $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers.一名联邦法官确认苹果在案件中负起法律责任,并在11月21日批准后了一份妥协方案,根据这一方案,苹果有可能必须开始向多达2300万消费者缴纳总计4亿美元的赔偿金。The case involving the iPod has kicked around various Bay Area federal courts for a decade. It is an amalgam of multiple suits, with over 900 filings from lawyers on both sides.这桩与iPod有关的案子10年来由湾区的多家联邦法院经手。它是多起诉讼融合的产物,双方律师递交的文件数量在900份以上。The jury will hear from some of Apple’s top executives, including Philip W. Schiller, the head of marketing, and Eddy Cue, who oversees iTunes and Apple’s other online services.陪审团将不会征询一些苹果高管的证词,还包括营销负责人菲利普·W·席勒(Philip W. Schiller),以及负责管理iTunes等苹果在线服务的埃迪·库埃(Eddy Cue)。

Part of the case will involve RealNetworks, an Internet media service that had come up with a workaround to allow songs sold in its store to play on iPods and other media players. In response, Apple in 2004 issued an incensed statement, accusing RealNetworks of hacking the iPod and warning that future software updates might prevent songs sold by RealNetworks from playing on iPods. RealNetworks is not a party in this suit.该案将牵涉到互联网媒体服务公司RealNetworks。该公司曾多次用于一个变通办法,使其销售的歌曲可以在iPod和其他媒体播放器上播出。作为对此,苹果2004年公开发表了一份气愤的声明,谴责RealNetworks对iPod实行了黑客攻击,并警告说道,未来的软件改版版本将制止RealNetworks的歌曲在iPod上播出。RealNetworks不是该案的当事方。

Apple’s lawyers are expected to try to show that various iTunes updates were designed to make improvements to its products rather than deliberately cripple a competitor and did not harm consumers.预计苹果的律师将设法证明,iTunes的改版是为了改良产品,而不是故意巩固竞争对手,也没伤害消费者的利益。And they will probably point out that the price of iPods have gone down over the years, not up, regardless of what Apple did with its software.他们有可能将认为,无论苹果对自己的软件做到了什么转变,iPod的价格过去几年仍然在上升,并没提升。