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U.S. and 33 States File Game-Changing Proposal against Apple
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On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice was joined by 33 states in a proposal for a court order that would not only be punitive, but would change the way Apple does business.

In an immediate court filing, Apple countered that the “proposed injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business.” Apple further observed that the proposed injunction was “unprecedented” and a tool to “empower the government to regulate Apple’s businesses.”

  
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If the government proposal gets assent of the court, then iPhone or iPad users could by e-books directly from Amazon Kindle, or Barnes and Noble from their devices. Currently, Apple prevents this from happening.

The proposal also wants Apple to be barred from similar agreements with producers and sellers of “music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple’s competitor retailers may sell that content.”

The U.S. government and all states joining the petition also want a court-appointed monitor to check Apple’s practices for the next ten years and ensure compliance.

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The proposal today follows a nonjury trial in July, where U.S. District Judge Denise Cote found against Apple in the e-book price fixing case. The proposal would need approval of the court and hearing is scheduled for Aug 9.

In its filing, Apple pointed out that the government’s proposal for regulating the company’s business was superfluous and excessive as antitrust concerns had already been taken care of by the consent decrees agreed to by the publishers in the matter.



Apple also observed that the proposal to allow access to applications with links to other bookstores like Amazon and Barnes & Noble would “entrench Amazon’s dominant position” in the market of e-books.

However, the proposal filed by the DOJ observes the “provision is intended to reset competition among trade e-book retailers and deny Apple the benefits of the conspiracy.”



 

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