Court outlines Apple punishment for 'blatant price-fixing' of e-books

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Apple was poked in the iBooks today, after a New york city judge set in motion restrictions on the business for having actually conspired to price-fix e-books with publishers.

“I want to fashion as narrow a solution as possible to recover competition to merchants of e-books, ” stated UNITED STATE District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan today, according to BusinessWeek.

“We do require an injunction today. There was outright price-fixing. “

That remedy asks for Apple to hold agreement renegotiations with the five publishers who settled with the Justice Division. And it could not be in agreement discussions with even more than one publisher at a time.

“This was a rough and tumble game played with high stakes … and the customer suffered, ” Cote stated in comments captured by CNET, which noted that the judge called out Apple for a lack of sorrow.

“They are, in a word, unrepentant. “

No external monitor required

The judge, in a non-jury trial, discovered that Apple and publication publishers tried to work together to raise e-book prices.

This was presumably in an effort force Amazon to alter its pricing model that frequently sold best-selling e-books at $9.99 with its Kindle service.

But while the judge applauded both Apple and publication publishers for their practices, she did not ask for an external antitrust monitor to track its tasks like the Justice Division had wanted.

Instead, BusinessWeek noted that Apple can “adopt an energetic internal antitrust program and encourage the court there’s no need for a monitor. “

“If we can properly protect price competition without touching the versatility and management of the App Store, that’d be my choice, ” concluded Cote, according to CNET.