Publishers say e-book restrictions would hurt them, not Apple

The US had proposed remedies prohibiting agreements with Apple that use an agency pricing model

Five book publishers have objected to restrictions that would be placed on Apple's business after it was found guilty last month of conspiring to fix prices for e-books.

A New York federal judge ruled in July that Apple conspired with the publishers to fix prices for e-books, snuffing out competition and leading to "significantly higher prices" for consumers.

The accused publishers, including Penguin, HarperCollins and Macmillan, had all settled the charges against them with the U.S. Department of Justice, but Apple went to trial and lost. The company says it plans to appeal.

In the meantime, the DOJ proposed a set of remedies last week to prevent Apple from engaging in the same conduct again. In a filing Wednesday in a Manhattan federal court, the publishers objected to those restrictions, specifically a part they say would prevent their use of the so-called agency pricing model.

"The proposed provisions would have that effect by preventing Apple from entering into any agreements that limit its ability to discount e-books for five years," the publishers' lawyers wrote. "In other words, the provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the [publishers who settled the case] by prohibiting agreements with Apple to use the agency model."

Under the agency model, publishers set their own prices for their books, rather than the retailers that sell them. Essentially, the government had accused Apple and the publishers of switching to the agency model to shut out retail price competition.

In the filing Wednesday, the publishers argue that under the settlements they agreed to they would still be able to use the agency model. They asked the court to block any restrictions on Apple that would interfere with that ability.

The court will now have to decide if it agrees with their objection.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags antitrustApplelegal

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?