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

86 Comments

  1. If you folks actually read the article, you would notice that the drivers behind the proposed remedy are the state Attorneys General, most of whom are conservative Republicans. Obama could be blamed for many things, but this isn’t one of them. The proposed remedy is complete idiocy, but it is bipartisan idiocy. The next presidential election will not fix it unless all these Republican AGs lose at the same time

  2. DOJ? Let’s rename it DOI; Department of Injustice. This is indeed infuriating the way they’re going after Apple. Why is that they focus so much going after Apple and not the others who certainly deserve to be punished? Shameful.

  3. What a horrid turn of events for Apple. It’s own Government, hell bent on destroying its own home grown success company. A company that has done no wrong on this part.

  4. No shock here. Apple made it big. Apple won the industry and is the big player now.

    The government wants to control Apple and they’ll work to achieve that goal in any way they can.

    There will be more government trials against the company. Make no mistake about it. I expect a full blown Antitrust trial to happen eventually. Even if the charges are totally bogus its coming because Apple is a target now.

    This is what America has become as a result of the moral and ethical decay at the government and business level sadly.

    Innovation and reward are to be controlled in the New America.

    Makes me want to puke.

  5. This is upsetting because Apple finally found success in a market not dominated by Microsoft, the consumer market. (Not coincidentally, the government and military markets are monopolized by Microsoft.)
    I pray Apple is vindicated. We as Apple loving citizens shouldn’t permit this to happen.

    1. More specifically, protecting the President’s Hollywood donors and other celebrity cronies. Everything this administration does reminds me of the old Pink Floyd song, “Us and Them” 1973.

  6. The answer to everything that ails this nation can be found in Article V of the Constitution, which sets forth the two processes for amending the Constitution. While the first process is well known, the second has been all but forgotten.

    “We The People”, through the States Legislature can amend the Constitution WITHOUT THE APPROVAL of the tyrants in DC, their corporate masters, lobbyists, et cetera.

    The real problem will be finding enough people who can set aside their political differences long enough to put Congress and our corrupt Federal Government back in the box where it belongs.

    1. @Mark
      You think that state politicians are some kind of different animal? Totally different from the federal government. Noble individuals selflessly working for the general good, without influence by corporate masters, lobbyists etc.

      Sure, there are some individuals who genuinely care about people… and I’m sure there are in Washington too. But the overall system – it’s the same game, just smaller.

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