updated 08:55 pm EDT, Wed August 7, 2013
Hearing on penalties to be assessed on August 9
Five of the publishers originally involved in the e-book price fixing case with Apple have filed a motion in Judge Denise Cote's court, opposing the proposed penalties that the Department of Justice wants asserted against Apple. The five publishers claim that the Department of Justice's demand will "improperly impose additional, unwarranted restrictions on the settling defendants, thereby depriving each publisher of the benefit of its bargain with plaintiffs." The penalty proposal by the Department of Justice and all filed motions will be heard on Friday, August 9.
Under the DoJ's suggested terms, Apple would be forced to allow apps to link to other e-book stores such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Under the terms of the proposal, Apple would cancel existing contracts with the five book publishers implicated in the price fixing, but skip signing new ones for another five years, while also avoiding agreements with providers of music, movies, and TV shows "that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple's competitor retailers may sell that content."
The five publishers opposing the government's proposal are Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan. The publishers believe that the settlement will prevent Apple from entering agreements with any media company allowing for discounts, which would further solidify Amazon's position at the top of the industry.
Apple has also opposed the proposal, calling the injection "draconian and punitive" and "wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm." Apple is appealing the proposal, but has also filed an appeal of Judge Cote's original ruling.