Publishers in E-Book Antitrust Case File Objection to DOJ's Proposed Punishment for Apple

iBooks.pngThe five book publishers who settled with the U.S. Government in the e-book antitrust case have filed an objection with the court arguing that the Department of Justice's proposed punishments for Apple would violate their settlement agreements from before the trial began, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The DOJ has recommended that the "agency model" deals with publishers be nullified and that Apple require competitors such as Amazon to put direct purchase links to their own e-book stores inside their iOS apps. Some experts have said that Apple could owe as much as $500 million in penalties.

In a court filing Wednesday afternoon, the publishers said that the U.S. Department of Justice's demands on Apple would eliminate the use of the "agency model" for the sale and distribution of e-books for a period of five years, by prohibiting Apple from entering such agreements.

Under the agency model, publishers, rather than Apple, set the retail price for e-books.

"The provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the settling defendants by prohibiting agreements with Apple using an agency model," lawyers for the publishers said in papers filed in federal court in Manhattan.

Apple has consistently defended its behavior and called the DOJ's proposal a "draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple's business".

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Top Rated Comments

stilted Avatar
142 months ago
Wow, now that Amazon has almost completed its task of putting every B&M bookstore out of business, the government steps in to make sure their slash-and-burn business model survives in the digital market as well.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69650 Avatar
142 months ago
Don't understand why this case is so hard to solve. All the DoJ have to do is get Apple to remove the clause from their agency agreements that prevents the publishers from selling their eBooks through Amazon at a lower price. If Apple wants to make 30% margin on eBook sales that's fine. If Amazon want to make 5% margin and sell the eBooks much cheaper that's up to them. It's a free market. Ultimately customers will decide who gets their money.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ValSalva Avatar
142 months ago
The publishers aren't really siding with Apple. They are looking out for their best interests. The DOJ prevents Apple from using the agency model. The publishers want the agency model. Apple is almost an unintended beneficiary in this instance.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glideslope Avatar
142 months ago
"Trust the Government. It worked well for the Indians". ;)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tigres Avatar
142 months ago
Don't understand why this case is so hard to solve. All the DoJ have to do is get Apple to remove the clause from their agency agreements that prevents the publishers from selling their eBooks through Amazon at a lower price. If Apple wants to make 30% margin on eBook sales that's fine. If Amazon want to make 5% margin and sell the eBooks much cheaper that's up to them. It's a free market. Ultimately customers will decide who gets their money.

Your thinking way to logical.

We need a committee of at least 100 govt workers and a hearing to conclude what you did on a forum in 2 years time.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ochyandkaren Avatar
142 months ago
Wrong analogy. But It worked well for those who elected said government.

"Trust the Government. It worked well for the Indians". ;)
These days, any government care less about the people.
Fake pundits are there to soothe the people, while the government please corporations.

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Wow, now that Amazon has almost completed its task of putting every B&M bookstore out of business, the government steps in to make sure their slash-and-burn business model survives in the digital market as well.

Obama’s guys are in the Amazon’s pocket.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)