Judge Orders Injunction Against Apple in e-Book Case

Posted by at 11:35 am on September 6, 2013

Apple has been hit with a permanent injunction in the e-book price-fixing case pursued by the Department of Justice. As previously noted, the company will be restricted from signing agreements with five major book publishers that could artificially inflate or reduce e-book retail prices. A third party will be tasked with directly monitoring compliance for two years, while the final judgment will expire after five years.

Apple had asked for the injunction to be delayed while the company works through the appeals process, however Judge Denise Cote has denied the request.

The five publishers faced an earlier legal battle of their own against the Department of Justice, but all settled before their cases went to trial. The publishers argued against the DoJ’s enforcement suggestions for Apple, which were toned down by Cote in the final ruling.

Though the final judgement is scheduled to expire after five years, Cote has left open the possibility of an extension if necessary.

The Department of Justice issued a statement following the ruling.

“Consumers will continue to benefit from lower e-books prices as a result of the department’s enforcement action to restore competition in this important industry,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the DoJ’s antitrust division. “By appointing an external monitor to ensure future compliance with the antitrust laws, the court has helped protect consumers from further misconduct by Apple. The court’s ruling reinforces the victory the department has won for consumers.”

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