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Publetariat Dispatch: DoJ Refuses to Modify Apple Antitrust Proposed Settlement

Publetariat: For People Who Publish!
In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, we share a brief excerpt from, and link to, some breaking news on the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against Apple. 

This post, by Jeff John Roberts, originally appeared on paidContent.org on 7/23/12.

The Justice Department released a document today that characterized  criticism by Apple and publishers of a controversial price-fixing  settlement as “self-serving” and ill-founded. The Department also  pointed to recent ventures by Google and Microsoft as evidence that the  e-book market is thriving and that Amazon’s dominant position has been  overstated.

The arguments came as a reply to the 868 public comments that were  filed in response to a settlement announced in April under which three  publishers agreed they would change their pricing policy in accordance  with Justice Department demands.

The settlement was imposed after the Justice Department sued Apple  and five publishers for allegedly conspiring to wrest pricing power from  Amazon. Apple and two of the publishers, Penguin and Macmillan, refused  to settle and are fighting the case in court.

The Justice Department document is posted below with key passages  underlined. The primary upshot is that the Department is refusing to  modify any parts of the settlement agreement despite about 800 comments  in opposition to the deal and new political opposition from people like Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).

In its filing, Justice says it addresses Apple’s objections at  length because of “[Apple’s] central role in the events leading to the  underlying enforcement action.”  It also quotes an incident in  which Steve Jobs reportedly told publishers, “the customer pays a little  more, but that’s what you want anyway.”

The government goes on to refute Apple’s contention that it is imposing a business model on the industry:


Read the rest of the post on paidContent.org, which includes an embedded copy of the DoJ’s full response. Also see Consumers face long wait for $52 million tied to Apple e-book ‘conspiracy’, by the same author, on the same site. 

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