Judge mulls restricting Apple's eBooks contracts

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)

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Comments (5)
  • jpintoctr
    , contributor
    Comments (725) | Send Message
    Outrageous and so far fetched. Pricing is important. Low prices artificial prices can also be detrimental in the long term if the intend is to get rid of the competition and rise them again when you own a quasi-monopoly as Amazon was with 90% of the eBook market.
    Is a dangerous precedent if the government decide pricing policies and managing how companies operate.
    If any thing Apple did was to open competition from one source and this was ignored in this case.


    I am sure an appeal will prosper and hope Apple has the stomach to go to the Supreme Court if is necessary and not to let be intimidated as seem to be the case. It is almost a matter of public service not to let this prosper and fight the next round in a less political court.
    11 Aug 2013, 02:24 AM Reply Like
  • Jurassic
    , contributor
    Comments (100) | Send Message
    Apple's lawyers sent Judge Cote a list of evidence that was “improperly admitted, excluded, or disregarded” before or during the trial. Reading this list is an eye-opener, and shows that the judge was either incompetent or she was conducting a "Kangaroo court".
    11 Aug 2013, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • rocback
    , contributor
    Comments (1098) | Send Message
    Judge Cote's career before becoming a Judge was with the U S Attys office so she would tend to favor her previous collegues like the DOJ. It would be like a judge ruling on a case agains Allstate when that same judge was previously house counsel for Allstate.
    11 Aug 2013, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • Dennis Baker
    , contributor
    Comments (2130) | Send Message
    Apple is accused of actions that increase the price of eBooks artificially... and the judge is considering punishing them by preventing them from discounting?


    How is this rational?
    12 Aug 2013, 02:34 AM Reply Like
  • jpintoctr
    , contributor
    Comments (725) | Send Message
    Dennis. Price is subjective and should be based on costs. Selling below cost to kill the competition is bad and if proved illegal. The issue was not "artificial increase in price" is "collusion" which is a serious accusation and very difficult to proof. The case try to narrow an very complex issue of rights negotiation. Unfortunately Jobs is not any more with us to clarify the quote his biographer used that was taken out of context.
    Most favoured nation is a OMC international principle that ensure fair trade. To not recognised the principle in internal issues and exclude Apple will an outrage in any international court. This is only the first stage and unfortunately seem to be very political and Apple is a great target, since is so visible.
    We live in a country where freedom in all forms is cherish and should be preserved. These are some reason why the case and special its remedies are irrational.
    13 Aug 2013, 12:50 AM Reply Like
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