Dept. of Justice has a plan to stop Apple from fixing ebook prices

At this point Apple might have an easier time selling these

Update: Apple wasted little time in responding to the Department of Justice's proposals:

"[The] proposed injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple's business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm," the company's statement, picked up by AllThingsD, read.

Apple called the proposed injunction "sweeping and unprecedented," a "tool to empower the government to regulate Apple's business" and potentially effect its business with its myriad of partners.

Essentially Apple calls the DoJ's ideas far harsher than the crime, going on to propose its own "potentially valid injunction" that would include, among other proposals, "reasonable antitrust training obligations for Apple, lasting a reasonable term."

"No further relief can be justified under the legal standard governing antitrust injunctions or the Constitution."

Original article...

Apple may be preparing to appeal its ebook price fixing defeat, but the DoJ has already devised its punishment.

The DoJ proposed a plan today to stop Apple from repeating its alleged crimes in the future, reports CNET.

Apple last month was found guilty of conspiring with publishers to increase the price of ebooks. The publishers previously settled out of court, but Apple went all the way to trial, a move that didn't pay off.

The measures proposed today by the DoJ still need to go through the court, but if approved the orders should prove quite thorough.

A modest proposal

The proposed plan is "intended to halt Apple's anticompetitive conduct, restore lost competition, and prevent a recurrence of the illegal activities," according to the DoJ.

The plan is multifaceted. For starters, Apple would need to allow competing iOS apps like Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's to link directly to those companies' ebook stores so that customers can more easily compare prices.

Apple would also need to end its agreements with Hachette, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, the five complicit publishers that settled rather than going to court.

Apple wouldn't be allowed to enter into contracts that would fix its competitors prices in any way, funnel information between the conspiring publishers or retaliate against them, or - for five years - "[accept] limitations on its own ability to price-compete with respect to ebooks."

Finally, Apple would be forced to pay for an external monitor to oversee the company's antitrust compliance policies and make sure everything's on the up-and-up.

Again, the court still needs to approve these measures, and a hearing is scheduled on Aug. 9 for that exact purpose.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.