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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

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • It's pretty harsh. The harshest is the external monitor. Or in other words, an independent firm that will do annual auditing for antitrust law compliance. Ask yourself what that really means or entails...
  • Steve Jobs would be losing his shit right about now. It would've been a rant of epic proportions. Not Ballmer-style, but a controlled Jobsian rage. I would not want to be anywhere near the Apple campus if he was still there.
  • Absolutely. But it's hard to say whether Apple would've been in court if Jobs were still around as he'd be able to defend his actions.
  • Why wouldn't been in court?
  • Not a bad outcome for Apple pretty in line with what the publishers got in their settlements
  • Seems very lenient and fair. Let's see how Apple responds now that they have to conduct business via legal methods.
  • Thank God they came down on Apple like a ton of bricks. Someone has to make sure people pay higher prices for stuff. And lets face it, we really need to make sure that Amazon is properly protected.
  • So.. insurance and medical isn't enough. Now the government has to control pricing on ebooks. I can see this going real well...
  • No, government is not controlling pricing on ebooks
  • Good. They need to learn a lesson about strong arming "partners" and this could help.