Apple slams DOJ’s ‘draconian’ proposed restrictions

{mosads}A federal judge in New York found Apple guilty last month of illegally conspiring with five publishers to raise the price of e-books. The company has denied any wrongdoing, and says it will appeal.

On Friday, the Justice Department outlined its proposed remedies to the case.

The government asked the court to force Apple to terminate its agreements with the five e-book publishers and to bar the company from entering into similar agreements for five years. The restriction would also apply to Apple’s negotiations with suppliers of music, movies and television shows.

Under the DOJ proposal, the court would appoint an external monitor to examine Apple’s business practices to ensure they are not stifling competition. The company would also have to hire an internal officer to conduct audits and train senior executives about antitrust laws. 

Apple would have to allow Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-book retailers to provide links from their e-book apps to their online bookstores. The feature, which would be mandated for two years, would allow consumers to easily compare prices, the Justice Department said. 

But Apple argued that any harm from the alleged wrongdoing has already been addressed because all five e-book publishers have already agreed to terminate the pricing arrangements.

The company claimed there is “no justification” to impose restrictions on other areas of its business, such as rules for its app store. 

“The Court should impose a remedy that is ‘carefully tailored’ to the alleged violation, not a sweeping mandate, disconnected from the issues, evidence, and arguments in this case, that would hurt competition rather than foster it,” Apple wrote. 


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