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Apple Files Opposition to Dept. of Justice Settlement

posted on 2012-08-16 23:35 EDT

Apple and three publishers filed an opposition to the Department of Justice's proposed settlement on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in April against Apple and the publishers Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, HarperCollins and Macmillan. The suit charges the companies with colluding to raise e-book prices through the use of the "agency model," where publishers, not booksellers, set book prices. According to reports, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and HarperCollins have agreed to settle with the Department of Justice.

Apple argued the company would be punished by the settlement although they never “participated in, encouraged, or sought to benefit from collusion,” and the deal would harm the company by nullifying contracts “before a single document has been introduced into evidence.”

Apple proposed the court approve a more narrowly focused settlement that bars collusion or that it reserve final judgment on the settlement the company's court date.

Publishers Penguin and Macmillan filed opposition as well, instead citing that Amazon.com, a competitor to Apple in the digital publishing front, was a "monopoly" before Apple introduced its iBookstore platform. Authors Guild president Scott Turow added that Amazon is lowering its prices "only as long as it takes Amazon to re-establish its monopoly."

Publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and HarperCollins have agreed to settle with the Department of Justice. The trial is scheduled for next summer.

[via Publishers Weekly]


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