E-Books Judge Pledges to Avoid Unnecessary Intrusion Into Apple's Business

iBooks.pngJudge Denise Cote today told Apple and the Department of Justice that she does not want to intrude unnecessarily on Apple's business when levying a punishment for the company's e-book collusion charge. The statement came after she reviewed the DOJ's revised remedy, which was submitted last Friday.

As with the original remedy, the revised proposal suggests that Apple submit to third-party anti-collusion monitoring and subjects the company to an injunction that prevents Apple from entering into media deals that might raise prices for the company's competitors.

The terms state that Apple must dissolve all existing deals with publishers and renegotiate them on a staggered basis to prevent further collusion. The DOJ also wants Apple to allow competitors such as Amazon to insert hyperlinks to their own e-book stores in their iOS apps, with the government insisting that Apple initiated its in-app subscription rules "to retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disapproved of."

For its part, Apple has called the DOJ's proposal a "draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple's business," insisting that Department of Justice is attempting to set up an unfair competitive advantage for Amazon and is

According to Cote, she will approve remedies in the case next week. Apple has said that it continues to disagree with her antitrust finding and plans to pursue its appeal.

Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
140 months ago
If Apple has to allow Amazon to place a link to their store within the Kindle App, shouldn't Apple be allowed (if they wanted) to make an iBook Store application and have Amazon allow it on the Kindle so consumers have a choice between Amazon purchased books or Apple purchased books on their Amazon device?

If not, why should Apple be forced to allow Amazon to sell their books on Apple's platform?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dBeats Avatar
140 months ago
So remember folks...you can crash the price of goods and kill off mom and pop shops and independent artists....but you can't provide a superior service where the price of those goods goes back up.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ravenvii Avatar
140 months ago

For its part, Apple has called (https://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/02/apple-files-brief-calling-department-of-justice-remedy-draconian-and-punitive/) the DOJ's proposal a "draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple's business," insisting (https://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/26/apple-accuses-doj-of-wanting-amazon-to-have-significant-competitive-advantage/) that Department of Justice is attempting to set up an unfair competitive advantage for Amazon and is

... and is what?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
140 months ago
I am a rabid Apple fan, but I am at a loss for how they can still not see that they really did break the law here.

Yes, Amazon was exploiting their virtual monopoly in ebooks, but Apple and the publishers should have convinced the DOJ to investigate Amazon, not colluded to fix prices.

I know many of you will never be able to accept that Apple violated the law here, but they did. And since they do not appear able to accept that fact, the courts will have to have some oversight to make sure that they don't continue on in that behavior or do it again.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
140 months ago
It would make lot more sense if judges would start ruling in favor of restricting any device maker to control content and other aspects of post sale commerce between consumer and retailers. Allowing device makers App oversight only. It seems that Apple execs believe that they entitled to control sale of media content on devices they sold to consumers. I think this one is coming soon, and ebooks case will look like little blip on the radar.

If any of the Apple Execs had a little bit of conscience, they would make this ebook case to go away as soon as possible with the least amount of noise. If any Apple Exec would be really a bright one - they would quietly settle and move on. It is too much to ask from these folks? Now, Apple may get even into bigger problems when DOJ may start asking questions about other questionable arrangements Apple forces on content retailers. So Apple Execs, keep on pissing on DOJ, it is sure great strategy. Money!=Power. You will lose. The one in power will show you your place.

Please, notice I am making emphasis on Apple Execs, not on Apple as a company. They are the ones, who are dragging Apple into the troubles.
Now look at it from Apple's point of view.

There is the 800lb gorilla in the eBook market - Amazon. They have been forcing publishers into contracts they didn't want by using their monopoly market power. Apple offered different contracts to these publishers, and a chance for these publishers to give their business a future, which Amazon was in the process of destroying.

Amazon complained. The DOJ jumped on the bandwagon. The publishers were blackmailed into accepting settlements even though they were not guilty of anything, but they were threatened with lawsuits that would destroy them. And Apple was declared guilty by the judge in this case before the lawsuit ever started.

The effect on businesses is chilling. Compete with Amazon, and the courts will come after you. Fortunately, Apple is not going to give in, and we can only hope that there will be an unbiased judge and a fair trial in the second round.

And do you realise by any chance that Amazon is by far the dominating device maker in the eBook market, building its monopoly by distributing books in the proprietary Kindle format?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nixiemaiden Avatar
140 months ago
If I am in a Kindle app, it is because I want to read a Kindle book.

If Kindle books were in app purchases, then those purchases would only be available within the app. But no, the digital content stays on Amazon's servers and I can download it to any of my Kindle devices. Amazon needs to hold the transaction and the order for it to make sense. It isn't any more of an in app purchase than the shoes I ordered through my Zappo's app.

It isn't like they are even saying they have to let Amazon sell Kindle books through their Kindle app and host the transaction like they do with the regular Amazon store app. Just a link that a 2 second Google search will give you if you don't already have it. If Apple feels threatened that removing that extra step will give Amazon a competitive advantage, they should market their iBooks product better rather than make it more difficult for the consumer who is already in the app they want to use.

Also if Apple were to remove the Kindle app, I guarantee a lot of people would be pissed off. I would have never bought an iPad without the Kindle app. Why Kindle appeals to me is because it is supported on multiple platforms. If Apple wants Amazon to lose their competitive advantage, they should make it so people can move between different platforms easily. But they don't because they want you to feel locked in and trapped so you keep buying their products since you are so tied to them. If they continue offering superior products though, people won't switch or if they do, they will come back. Do you really want your customers to be of the type that is only with you because they feel like they have invested so much already and it will be wasted if they switch? I mean I guess money is money to them but I think it would be better to keep releasing products that get people excited and wanting to stick with Apple.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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