Judge mulls restricting Apple's eBooks contracts

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote is considering restricting the kind of ebook deals that Apple (AAPL) can formulate with five publishers for five years, including preventing the company from discounting ebooks for at least two years.

Cote may also prevent Apple from negotiating with publishers at the same time in order to prevent the kind of price collusion that Cote has found them liable for.

However, Cote may not impose a court-appointed external monitor on Apple, as requested by the DOJ.

The publishers involved include News Corp's (NWS) HarperCollins, CBS's (CBS) Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House (PSO).

Cote has also started scheduling proceedings that could lead to a damages trial. While states and consumers haven't yet put a price on the amount suffered, an Apple layer said the figure could reach the "hundreds of millions of dollars." (previous)