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:
Regulators in the European Union are reportedly ready to accept the offer made by Apple and four book publishers, bringing an end to an antitrust probe regarding ebook pricing. Apple and these publishers made the offer back in September, and regulators are expected to announce their acceptance of the deal next month. The deal with European regulators addresses aspects of pricing and contracts that prevent lower pricing at rival retailers.
Peter Kafka over at All Things Digital reports that Apple has yet another hurdle to overcome before iTunes cloud streaming can become a reality -- getting music publishers to sign off. Although Apple has been negotiating and finalizing deals with the music labels, including Sony now, that's apparently not enou.
When iTunes Music went DRM-free and "hits" jumped from $0.99 to $1.29 storiessoon followed that the higher price point was leading to slower sales... and now that iBooks and publishers aim to increase eBook sales from $9.99 to up to $14.99, MediaMemo is telling them to "beware!":
It looks as if the rumors of major publishers getting together to agree upon a set of open standards for a new digital storefront are indeed true. Today Apple Insider is reporting that Condé Nast, Hearst, News Corporation, Time Inc., and Meredith all have officially announced this collaboration.