The Justice Department of the US has been on a crusade against Apple and the major publishers on eBook prices. Basically, the parties were accused of banding together to implement a common eBook payment standard. Every one of the publishers settled, for varying amounts of financial costs. The DOJ presented a number of settlement terms to Apple recently and the publishers are once again being accused of colluding to oppose them.
DOJ attorney Lawrence Buterman argued that the proposed penalties against Apple were meant to protect consumers. He stated, “A necessary component of this Court’s decision finding Apple liable for horizontal price-fixing is that the publishers themselves were engaged in a horizontal price-fixing conspiracy…[There] is reason to believe the Publisher Defendants may be positioning themselves to pick things back up where they left off as soon as their two-year clocks run. Indeed, the very fact that the Publisher Defendants have banded together once again, this time to jointly oppose two provisions in the Proposed Final Judgment that they believe could result in lower eBook prices for consumers, only highlights why it is necessary to ensure that Apple (and hopefully other retailers) can discount eBooks and compete on retail price for as long as possible.”
Associated Press reports that Judge Denise Cote has denied Apple’s request for a stay of the case, pending appeal. A judge on Friday refused a request by Apple to temporarily suspend her ruling that it violated antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to raise electronic book prices in 2010. Judge Denise Cote, ruling from the bench in Manhattan federal court, declined to withdraw the effect of last month’s ruling while Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Inc. appeals.