U.S.A. v. Apple: DOJ seeks wide-ranging oversight of iTunes Store

“Apple Inc.’s e-book problem is spilling over into its other media businesses,” Chad Bray reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“After winning its antitrust lawsuit over Apple’s e-book pricing, the Justice Department said Friday it wants to prevent Apple from engaging in anticompetitive conduct across the content sold in its iTunes store, including movies, music and television shows,” Bray reports. “The company has been an aggressive bargainer in opening up traditional media to digital distribution, most notably with music.”

Bray reports, “If the judge adopts the Justice Department’s recommendations, Apple may not have the same leverage when negotiating future content deals as it tries to expand its offerings. ‘Under the department’s proposed order, Apple’s illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future,’ said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.”

“Apple blasted the Justice Department’s proposals, saying in a court filing that the proposals were a ‘draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm,'” Bray reports. “The Justice Department is also proposing an external monitor to review Apple’s efforts and a prohibition from entering new e-book contracts for five years that would limit Apple’s ability to be competitive on price. Competing e-book sellers also would be allowed for a two-year period to sell books to Apple users via e-books apps in Apple’s online store. Apple also objected to the DOJ’s suggestion that a monitor be appointed to oversee its compliance with the courts order for 10 years. Apple said that proposal is ‘wholly unjustified by law or fact’ and goes far beyond anything connected with the alleged price-fixing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s hoping Apple hits a judge with a spine (and a brain attached) somewhere along the appeals process.

Might we suggest Apple using the judicial system’s top feature: Glacial pace? Drag this fiasco past high noon on January 20, 2017 and perhaps Apple’s chances will improve. Hey, it works wonders for Samsung!

Related articles:
Apple rejects U.S. DOJ’s proposed e-book penalties as ‘a draconian and punitive intrusion’ – August 2, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: DOJ wants to force Apple to revamp e-book practices – August 2, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: Cupertino could get smacked with $500 million bill in ebook case – July 25, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple verdict could end the book as we know it – July 11, 2013
U.S. DOJ unwittingly causes further consolidation, strengthens Amazon’s domination of ebook industry – July 11, 2013
Where’s the proof that Apple conspired with publishers on ebook pricing? – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple ruling could allow U.S. government to monitor, interfere with future Apple negotiations – July 10, 2013
Judge Denise Cote likely wrote most of her U.S.A. v. Apple ebooks case decision before the trial – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: NY judge rules Apple colluded to fix ebook prices, led illegal conspiracy, violated U.S. antitrust laws – July 10, 2013


  1. Take it to the Supreme Court and if that doesn’t work move the whole company to Korea.

    There won’t be any problems with government interference and greed there. Besides, buying the courts is no problem either.

    Americans love Korean products and so do American judges and other officials.

  2. “Drag this fiasco past high noon on January 20, 2017 and perhaps Apple’s chances will improve.”

    Couldn’t agree more. Hillary will be great for this country.

  3. Apple should just say screw it. We’re moving to Canada. This is just too effed up. What was wrong? Apple too successful of an American company and had to be knocked down a notch?

    1. No, Apple will stand it’s ground and so will it’s army of supporters.

      Hopefully together they will wake us all up to the value of choice and freedom and, as usual, lead the way.

      1. Together we stand, divided we fall.

        If this can ungrounded assault can happen to Apple in plain view of the world and media, American democracy is dead.

  4. Hey MDN, Jan 20, 2017? Seriously? You really think the teabaggers are going to take the whitehouse? Sure they will. You also think the right will fix things. Look at NSA, notice the republicans standing up for freedom. You do realize that of the 11 member FISA court, all apointed by Roberts, 10 are republicans, only 1 is a democrat. And did not they authorize all the spying? Obama? Sure, those repubs would so take orders from him.. Get real MDN, this DOJ shit did not start with Obama and it will not end when he leaves.

  5. Great, the if there is need for independent oversight of Apple and it’s sales of media materials, I would expect that such oversight would need to be placed on all entities selling such content as well (Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.). And while their at it, what about the advertising? Throw that in too. Let’s go ahead and regulate everything accept the monopolistic and obvious collusive cable companies. Seems like we’ve been trying to over throw these sorts of entities to advance consumerism, but with no avail. Once someone does (Apple) there’s an assertion that a crime is being committed somehow. Meanwhile, Google is off the hook and saying it can’t police it’s public video upload sight (Youtube) of copyright materials.

    Clearly this DOJ prosecutor is overreaching and trying to make a name for himself. We’ll see how this all plays out. My guess it will likely be nothing more than a hand slap for Apple on the iBook deal and nothing will come of policing iTunes.

  6. That’s what Apple gets for being a liberal led company that didn’t ‘donate’ enough to the liberal cause during elections. So much for knowing your political views and not using your power/cash to help other like thinkers…

  7. Absurd. Biased, tyrannical, prejudice, infuriating is what this doj rulling brings yo mind.
    And a very clear indication of the administrations intents for the direction this country!
    Ex soviet union !

    This whole case has to be tossed oit and retied in front of jury! Not a judge who had made up her mind before the case even started.

    This is whic hunting at its best by the government…
    Just look at how absurd and oneway the ruling is and the consider the following contradictions in philosophy!
    Punish apple…and
    Allow amazon ( while loosing money ) to drive every other bookseller out of buisness…and become a monopoly and at the same time hurt the authors and publishers . ..
    Ohhhhh ya that is great thing…
    It is great to destroy the publishing buisness.
    And for some reason it is ok to have a momopoly if it is Amazon!

    This is all great for the economy and the consumer! Lol
    Obama is destroying this county!

    1. @Yojimbo007
      Yes, ridiculous about Apple. But you’re talking about one company. Bush and the financial lords whose lap dog he was crashed the economy of the planet.

      1. @ seamus

        you remind me so much of kingmel, inter alia: whenever criticism is levied at 0bama you attack the person and rarely refute the charge, usually making dark references to bush. you do know 0bama is the president and bush has been out of politics lo these many years.

        do you still live with your parents?

  8. Well Amazon has just made a loss. Is this the result of trying to put Apple out of business by selling e-books below cost in order to keep market share?
            Apple e-books format and iPad are clearly of superior quality, imho, when compared to Kindle and its e-books (mobi) format. Equivalent books, same price, but far better quality reading experience. Apple is more than competitive on price/quality. That is one reason why Amazon is becoming less competitive.
            Then you have the publishers themselves selling direct online, setting their own prices and competing with the Apple and Amazon distributors. How is Apple being anti-competitive when the publishers set their e-book prices?

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