This afternoon, Apple and the DOJ will be in court to decide the fate of the agency model implementation in the iBookstore. The court has already ruled that Apple has been working with publishers to price-fix and raise the prices of ebooks, but now a punishment must be determined.

This morning, the DOJ responded to publishers’ concerns about the remedies and claimed that, since they are even responding together, they have shown once again how they are banded together (PDF of full response – via GigaOM):

Indeed, the very fact that the Publisher Defendants have banded together once again, this time to jointly oppose two provisions in the Proposed Final Judgment that they believe could result in lower ebook prices for consumers, only highlights why it is necessary to ensure that Apple (and hopefully other retailers) can discount ebooks and compete on retail price for as long as possible.

The DOJ’s proposed solution included the following:

  • Terminating agreements with the 5 publishers involved
  • Refraining from entering new e-book distribution contracts which would restrain Apple from competing on price for five years
  • Must allow other e-book retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to provide links from their e-book apps to their e-bookstores for two years

Apple responded by calling the proposed remedy ‘draconian and punitive‘. The publishers also spoke out against the ruling and remedy.

We’ll soon find out how the court will rule and what repercussions this will have in the industry. Apple’s lawyers will be out in full force today, as Apple will be in court for the ebook case, the ITC patent case against Samsung, and a hearing of Apple’s appeal against the court’s unfavorable ruling regarding the ban of older Samsung products being sold.

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7 Responses to “DOJ says publishers once again colluding as Apple faces ITC/patent cases today”

  1. thejuanald says:

    Hopefully this sheer arrogance bites apple in the ass. The DoJ Is going to come down hard on them and it’s going to be awesome to see.


    • seansilveira says:

      So you are all for Amazon having a monopoly? This is not a free market economy approach so instead of fostering competition the DOJ is beating it down with a hammer. Make a whole lot of sense.


      • thejuanald says:

        Amazon having a monopoly? There’s the Barnes and noble ebook store, there’s the Sony ebook store, there will still be the apple iBookstore (they just won’t be able to renegotiate prices or fix everyone else’s prices to their price point) and there will be amazon. There are probably others I can’t remember. That sure sounds like a monopoly to me. God, some of you people are morons.

        All this means is retailers will be able to charge what they want. Of amazon wants to sell the ebooks for what they bought them for or for a loss, that’s their prerogative, not apple’s. Monopoly, good lord, you people are stupid.


  2. You have to wonder why the DoJ didn’t have this sort of gusto in the aftermath of the financial meltdown. I’m guessing that Apple and the book publishers don’t contribute enough to various campaign funds.


    • jakexb says:

      Seriously, WTF is going on up there. Crash the world economy? No big deal. Negotiate a good price for ebooks? You’re going down!


      • thejuanald says:

        Negotiate a good price for ebooks? Seriously? What the hell is with you people. Due to apple, the price of ebooks doubled or tripled, and in many cases was more expensive than the actual physical copy. And apple prevented orher distributors from charging anything less. That was as far from a good price for ebooks. You isheep are insane.


      • thejuanald says:

        As far from a good price for ebooks as you can get** stupid iPhone.