Apple Slams DOJ's Proposed E-Books Remedy as 'Draconian and Punitive'

Apple Slams DOJ's Proposed E-Books Remedy as 'Draconian and Punitive'

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Apple has filed an opposition to the Department of Justice's proposal to 'remedy' the e-book price fixing case by imposing numerous conditions on the company.

The DOJ would like to see Apple terminate agreements with five publishers, provide for a court-appointed external monitor, and allow competitors to provide links from their e-book apps to their e-bookstores. The full details of the proposed 'remedy' can be found here.

Apple calls these demands a draconian and punitive intrusion into their business.

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.

In regards to allowing links to the stores of other e-book retailers, Apple says "it is under no duty to allow other retailers to offer apps on the iPad in the first place, much less on terms that subsidize their operations. Nevertheless, Apple allows all e-book retailer apps that are compliant with its policies—including those offered by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other competing e-book retailers—to be offered in its App Store. It also permits consumers to download e-books purchased through another e-book retailer’s website or bookstore onto its e-reader devices without charge."

Apple's Argument Against Injunction:
● An Injunction Is Unnecessary Because Plaintiffs Have Already Achieved Their Legitimate Remedial Objectives
● The Proposed Injunction Terms Are Unnecessary, Overbroad, Vague, and Punitive
-- A Ten-Year External Compliance Monitorship Would Be Unprecedented and Unwarranted
-- The Proposed Regulation of the App Store Is Untethered to the Court’s Findings or the Evidence Presented at Trial
-- Plaintiffs’ Regulation of Apple’s Other Content Platforms Is Similarly Unwarranted
-- Any Injunction Should Apply Only to Apple’s Relationships with the Publisher Defendants
-- Plaintiffs’ Proposed Ten-Year Term is Punitive and Will Chill Competition
-- Several Other Provisions of the Proposed Injunction Are Vague and Would Be Unconstitutional

Apple's Proposal for Valid Injunction:
● Reasonable limitations on Apple’s ability to share information (akin to the publishers’ consent decrees
● A prohibition, tracking the publishers’ consent decrees, on retail price MFNs in agreements with the publisher defendants
● reasonable antitrust training obligations for Apple, lasting a reasonable term.
● No further relief can be justified under the legal standard governing antitrust injunctions or the Constitution.

More information can be found in the full filing attached below...

[via TNW]

TheWord - August 3, 2013 at 5:46am
All Apple has to do is threaten to move its company offshore and the government will loose billions of tax dollars. Touché