DOJ Wants to Curb Apple eBook Price Fixing
With a vast selection of digital literature, Apple's iBooks is one of the more popular online eBook shops around. However, the Department of Justice is looking to make sure that the California hardware manufacturer doesn't use its market power to price fix.
According to a press release on Friday, the Department of Justice is proposing a remedy to Apple's "anti-competitive conduct," as the iPhone and iPad manufacturer was recently found guilty of conspiring with publishers to drive up eBook prices. If approved by the court, the proposal would force Apple to cut ties with its current publishing partners, including HarperCollins and Simon & Shuster Inc., and refrain from entering new contracts that would "restrain Apple from competing on price." The remedy would also require Apple to allow competitors such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon to list their prices on Apple's book apps, which would give users the ability to quickly comparison shop between the three digital retailers.
On top of these proposed e-book regulations, the Department of Justice is asking for a court-appointed monitor who would be paid by Apple to watch over any potential anti-competitive actions. The proposal is still awaiting the final ruling of judge Denise Cote, and Apple is likely to appeal in an attempt to maintain their iBooks customer base.