Apple given permanent injunction in ebook case, external antitrust monitor to be installed

Judge Denise Cote has imposed an injunction on Apple in the ebook price-fixing case, which, among other things, will install an external antitrust monitor for the company. Apple will also be required to end all agreements with the five major publishers that prevent Apple from lowering ebook prices. Reuters:

The final judgment will expire after five years, though Cote's order allows for extensions in one-year increments if necessary.

The external compliance monitor will be in place for at least two years, monitoring Apple's efforts to conform to antitrust laws. This ruling comes as no surprise, given that Judge Cote said last week that this is what she was leaning towards.

In addition to the monitor, the Justice Department had also wanted to change Apple's digital content policies, at least in regards to ebooks, letting ebook apps such as Amazon's Kindle app link to Amazon's store from within the app, something that Apple no longer allows, and hasn't since 2011. Judge Cote decided against such measures, not wanting to interfere fundimentally with the way Apple does business.

So what do you think? Is the decision fair, too lenient, or too harsh?

Source: Reuters