US judge to limit Apple antitrust penalty to e-books

Aug 28, 2013
A woman tries out an eBook reader app on an Apple iPad at the Leipzig Book Fair on March 15, 2012. A US federal court is close to imposing an antitrust remedy on Apple that narrows the scope to the company's e-book business.

A US federal court is close to imposing an antitrust remedy on Apple that narrows the scope to the company's e-book business.

US District Judge Denise Cote said in a Tuesday hearing that the remedies to price-fixing that Apple must take should be narrow and should not target Apple's content businesses other than e-books.

Cote struck language proposed by the Justice Department in the draft injunction that would have allowed scrutiny of Apple's sale of movies, music, and other retail products.

The injunction will only cover e-books, she said. She hopes to finalize the injunction in the next week.

Cote, in a withering July 10 decision in the government's much-watched against Apple, concluded that Apple was liable for "facilitating and encouraging" a price-fixing conspiracy among publishers that cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

An additional trial on damages is scheduled for May 2014.

Cote signaled that she wants to avoid excessive oversight of Apple while imposing remedies to the price-fixing.

"I want this injunction to rest as lightly as possible on the way Apple runs its business," Cote said, according to a transcript of the hearing.

"I want Apple to have the flexibility to innovate, but at the same time, I want to prevent a repetition of the illegal conduct like that shown with at this trial."

However, Cote said that while she initially resisted appointing an external monitor for Apple, she now viewed the step as necessary in light of Apple's "blatant and aggressive disregard" of the law as demonstrated by the trial. Apple's correspondence on antitrust compliance since the verdict has been "inadequate," she added.

"I have been reluctant to appoint a monitor for several reasons. But I believe based on the record before me now that I should," Cote said.

The purpose of the monitor will be to evaluate Apple's antitrust compliance policies and procedures, as well as to oversee its antitrust training program for staff.

Cote said all staff who work on content-related negotiations, whether on books, music, movies or other products, should receive antitrust training.

The training could be effectively executed in as little as 30 minutes for some employees, she said.

"The training needs to make an impression, to be memorable and to be helpful to an employee who wants to succeed for Apple and to do so within the bounds of the law," Cote said.

Explore further: Dish restores Turner channels to lineup

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Dish restores Turner channels to lineup

8 hours ago

Turner Broadcasting channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are back on the Dish network after being dropped from the satellite TV provider's lineup during contract talks.

'Call of Duty' blasts past $10 bn in sales

Nov 20, 2014

Blockbuster military shooter video game "Call of Duty" has blasted past $10 billion in lifetime sales, propelled by demand for the latest installment in the 11-year-old franchise.

Square's point-of-sale service goes global

Nov 20, 2014

Financial services startup Square is taking aim at cash registers across the globe, making its point-of-sale software available internationally in English, Spanish, French and Japanese.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.