U.S. Justice Department blasts ‘self-serving’ Apple | iLounge News


U.S. Justice Department blasts ‘self-serving’ Apple

The U.S. Justice Department has released a document in which it calls the criticism of its eBook price-fixing settlement leveled by Apple and the publishers as “self-serving.” PaidContent reports that the document serves as a reply to the 868 public comments that were filed in response to the announced settlement, the vast majority of which were in opposition to the deal. In the reply, the Justice Department refuses to modify any parts of the settlement, and addresses Apple’s objections at length because of its “central role in the events leading to the underlying enforcement action.” Under the terms of the settlement, Apple and the settling publishers must terminate their existing “Apple Agency Agreements” within seven days of the settlement’s final approval, and can then sign new contracts — but are forbidden for two years from using clauses that limit retailers’ rights to discount. [via DF]

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Well, in Apple’s “defense” ;-), of course their response was self serving. Their entire aim from the beginning was to prevent meaningful competition with their iBooks platform, the most expensive, least consumer friendly eReader platform out there.

In the absence of the price fixing and intentional hobbling of competitors, the iBooks platform would have been dead on arrival. Apple behaved as almost any large corporation would: illegal market manipulation and screwing of everyone but themselves to achieve a genuine foothold in the general eBook market but, more importantly, an actual edge in the very lucrative upcoming market of electronic text book publishing where Apple’s tablet devices do hold an advantage of more traditional eReaders.

Apple did as businesses always have in the U.S.: trusted that the penalties would not offset the gains of their behavior, and they won’t. They’ll offer their token resistance, and when the DOJ sticks to their stance, Apple will “submit” knowing they’ll take a minor hit down the road on regular books but laughing all the while that they scored a much bigger victory in the long run with text books.

Posted by Charles Starrett on July 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM (CDT)

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