Apple fires back at DOJ, calls them draconian, punitive

Apple has filed a response to the DOJ's ludicrously restrictive demands following their first-round knock-out in the ebooks anti-trust case. Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web quotes:

Plaintiffs’ proposed injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm. Plaintiffs propose a sweeping and unprecedented injunction as a tool to empower the Government to regulate Apple’s businesses and potentially affect Apple’s business relationships with thousands of partners across several markets. Plaintiffs’ overreaching proposal would establish a vague new compliance regime—applicable only to Apple—with intrusive oversight lasting for ten years, going far beyond the legal issues in this case, injuring competition and consumers, and violating basic principles of fairness and due process. The resulting cost of this relief—not only in dollars but also lost opportunities for American businesses and consumers—would be vast.

Apple did the right thing in the wrong way and the U.S. government wants to punch them in the throat. Amazon did the wrong thing in the right away and U.S. government wants to hand them de facto monopoly of the ebook market. Since Amazon is currently intent on dumping ebooks at below cost to prop up other aspects of their business, this can be seen as a "win" for "cheaper prices". But markets aren't only about price.

Leave Apple's business alone and strike out the most-favored pricing conventions. Let Amazon dump books if they want, and force Apple to compete regardless. Maybe Apple would have to subsidize prices with hardware profits, the inverse of Amazon's model. Maybe they'd innovate a way to justify higher prices. Either way, creators (publishers in the old model, authors in the new) would be better compensated for their work. Absent fair compensation, writers stop writing, and then there's no ebook market to worry about.

The judge is yet to rule on damages, though given past behavior, future behavior would seem to lean decidedly against Apple. Which is probably why Apple continues to appeal, and may well take that appeal all the way to the highest court in U.S.

Stay tuned. Er... page turned.

Source: The Next Web