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. I think Apple should just show the finger, pull up its roots and go set up business in another country. Canada or Australia would welcome them with open arms.

  2. Apple is incorporated in the United States of America.
    The United States of America is a nation with laws that govern the conduct of its citizens and businesses.
    Laws made by the people for the people generally establish a flat, low-restriction playing field. Laws made by corporate lobbyists tilt the playing field in favor of the highest bidder.
    Nevertheless, Apple therefore must follow the law of the land, just like every other legal entity.

    Any questions?

    Hard to believe how much political crap this click-baiting non-news item generates.

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