Judge requires antitrust monitor as part of Apple e-book ruling

An entrance to the federal courthouse in New York, where a judge handed down a permanent injunction against Apple in the e-books price-fixing case.
(Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images)

Apple must pay for an independent antitrust monitor as part of a permanent injunction handed down on Friday by a federal court in New York.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote also ruled that Apple could not strike deals with five major publishers if the terms would limit the ability to offer discounts. Those publishers, which had been accused of being co-conspirators in the case, had previously settled before Apple’s case went to trial this summer.


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The injunction is set to last five years but could be extended if Apple is found to be in noncompliance with the terms.

“Consumers will continue to benefit from lower e-books prices as a result of the [U.S. Justice Department’s] enforcement action to restore competition in this important industry,” Assistant Atty. Gen. Bill Baer said in a news release.

In July, Cote found that Apple had colluded with the five publishers in a scheme to raise e-book prices. Apple and the publishers had teamed up in an attempt to break the dominant position of market leader, which had established lower e-book prices that had left the publishers grumbling.

Apple said it plans to appeal the injunction, and continues to maintain that it did nothing illegal.

“Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing,” said spokesman Tom Neumayr. “The iBookstore gave customers more choice and injected much-needed innovation and competition into the market.”

Apple’s stock was up $1.09, or .22%, to $496.36 in midday trading.


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