“The Justice Department released a document today that characterized criticism by Apple and publishers of a controversial price-fixing settlement as ‘self-serving’ and ill-founded,” Jeff John Roberts reports for paidContent.

“The primary upshot is that the Department is refusing to modify any parts of the settlement agreement despite about 800 comments in opposition to the deal and new political opposition from people like Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY),” Roberts reports. “In its filing, Justice says it addresses Apple’s objections at length because of ‘[Apple’s] central role in the events leading to the underlying enforcement action.’ It also quotes an incident in which Steve Jobs reportedly told publishers, ‘the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway.'”

Roberts reports, “The Justice Department’s filing largely skates away from issues related to Amazon’s role in the e-book market. It states that public comments suggesting it sue Amazon for abuse of dominant market power or address issues of online sales tax issues are beyond the scope of the antitrust action… The next step in the case is for the proposed settlement to go before Judge Denise Cote who will decide in coming months whether to approve it, reject it or delay approval pending a more detailed fact-finding investigation. In the meantime, the court case against Apple and the publishers will continue as will as a parallel case brought by class action lawyers and state governments seeking tens of millions in damages. Judge Cote has so far appeared hostile to Apple and the non-settling publishers. In refusing to dismiss part of the related case, she referred to Apple and Steve Jobs helping publishers to ‘collude.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve said from the very beginning of this fiasco: “The U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.”

[Attribution: Daring Fireball. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
U.S. senator Schumer: Myopic DOJ needs to drop Apple e-books suit – July 18, 2012
Apple’s U.S. e-books antitrust case set for 2013 trial – June 24, 2012
U.S. government complains, claims Apple trying to rush e-books antitrust case – June 21, 2012
Barnes & Noble blasts U.S. DOJ e-book settlement proposal – June 7, 2012
Apple: U.S. government’s e-book antitrust lawsuit ‘is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law’ – May 24, 2012
Federal Judge rejects Apple and publishers’ attempt to dismiss civil case alleging e-book price-fixing – May 15, 2012
Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book agency model; 17 more states join class action suit – May 15, 2012
Apple vs. Amazon: Who’s really fixing eBook prices? – April 17, 2012
Apple: U.S. DOJ’s accusation of collusion against iBookstore is simply not true – April 12, 2012
Apple not likely to be a loser in legal fight over eBooks – April 12, 2012
16 U.S. states join DOJ’s eBook antitrust action against Apple, publishers – April 12, 2012
Australian gov’t considers suing Apple, five major publishers over eBook pricing – April 12, 2012
DOJ’s panties in a bunch over Apple and eBooks, but what about Amazon? – April 12, 2012
Antitrust experts: Apple likely to beat U.S. DOJ, win its eBook lawsuit – April 12, 2012
Why the market shrugged off the Apple antitrust suit – April 11, 2012
What’s wrong with the U.S. DOJ? – April 11, 2012
Macmillan CEO blasts U.S. DOJ; gov’t on verge of killing real competition for appearance of competition – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ hits Apple, major publishers with antitrust lawsuit, alleges collusion on eBook prices – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ may sue Apple over ebook price-fixing as early as today, sources say – April 11, 2012