Apple E-Book Antitrust Penalty Shrinks

A US Federal Court ruled to limit the scope of Apple’s antitrust penalty to e-book business.

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Limit to antitrust fine

US District Judge Denise Cote said in a hearing that the solution to price-fixing that Apple must take should be limited and should not target its content businesses other than e-books.

Cote hit the plan proposed by the Justice Department in the draft injunction that would have allowed scrutiny of Apple’s sale of films, music, TV programs, and other retail products.

The injunction will cover e-books, Cote clarified. She hopes to finalize the draft in a couple of weeks.

Cote concluded that Apple was responsible for “facilitating and encouraging” a price-fixing controversy among publishers that cost e-book buyers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Prevent repetition of illegal ways

An additional court proceeding about the damages is scheduled on May 2014.

Cote said she wants to avoid excessive oversight of Apple while implementing solutions to the price-fixing.

“I want this injunction to rest as lightly as possible on the way Apple runs its business,” Cote said, according to a transcript of the hearing.”I want Apple to have the flexibility to innovate, but at the same time, I want to prevent a repetition of the illegal conduct like that shown with overwhelming evidence at this trial.”

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