The Department of Justice's settlement proposal for Apple was called punitive and draconian by Apple itself, but now the ebook publishers who previously settled with the government are also objecting to the terms. According to Chad Bray of the Wall Street Journal:
"The provisions do not impose any limitation on Apple's pricing behavior at all; rather, under the guise of punishing Apple, they effectively punish the settling defendants by prohibiting agreements with Apple using an agency model," lawyers for the publishers said in papers filed in federal court in Manhattan.
Basically, it sounds like the DOJ wants to stop Apple from making more agency-model deals with publishers, and publishers want to make just exactly those kinds of deals again with Apple. So, it's in the publishers' self interest to object on Apple's behalf. No surprise there. They're businesses, they need to do what they feel is best for their business.
Once again, I think simply striking the most favored pricing clause from Apple's deals and forcing them to compete against Amazon, deep discounts or not, would be a better solution for everyone.
We'll see how this plays out.
Source: Wall Street Journal