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Apple issued injunction in e-book case

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By Phil Dzikiy

News Editor, iLounge
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
News Categories: Apple, Apps + Games

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has issued an injunction against Apple for its involvement in fixing e-book prices, Reuters reports. Cote barred Apple from entering any agreements with the five major publishers — Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Hachette — that would impede its ability to reduce e-book prices or offer discounts. Judge Cote also said an external monitor would be appointed for two years to prevent antitrust behavior from Apple. The terms will expire after five years, but the judgment could be extended in one-year increments. As expected, no App Store changes were included in the injunction.

Additionally, GigaOM notes Apple may not enforce most-favored-nation clauses in any e-book publishing contracts for five years. The company must also stagger new contract negotiations with the five major publishers in an order set by the judge. Apple plans to appeal the injunction. “Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said. “The iBookstore gave customers more choice and injected much-needed innovation and competition into the market.”

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Not to beat a dead horse, but that final statement is shocking on the face of it. Even if someone wants to foolishly believe Apple that they didn’t actively conspire to fix eBook prices, you have to be dumber than a box of rocks to buy, “...injected much-needed innovation and competition into the market.” Really?

Re: Innovation - iBooks are simply ePub format books, around since 2007, locked down with the most restrictive DRM in the industry.

Re: Competition - Apple’s actions resulted in a global cartel consisting of the six largest publishers in the world enforcing compliance with Agency pricing for all distributors. Under Agency pricing, the publisher sets the prices and no competition is possible by design. Worse, prices were manipulated to impede adoption of eBooks by reducing attractiveness to consumers compared to old school paper products propping up the largely obsolete publishing models of the past century.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on September 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM (PDT)

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