Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apple’s E-Book Punishment Court Order Is Final, and Not as Bad as Apple Feared

tim_cook4Here’s the last word, for now, on the punishment Apple will receive after losing its e-book price-fixing trial: It’s not as bad as Apple first feared, but Apple still isn’t happy.

You can see the order from U.S. District Court Denise Cote embedded at the bottom of this post. If you’ve been following this story — my colleague John Paczkowski has been providing excellent coverage — then you’ll know what to expect: A set of remedies that limit Apple’s ability to control pricing of its e-books in general, and have specific rules about the ways it can deal with individual publishers.

But Cote’s order is also significantly milder than what the DOJ was originally asking for. Gone, for instance, are broad new rules about the way Apple can run its iTunes store. And while the court is still going to appoint an “external compliance monitor” to keep an eye on Apple, that person is going to have much less power than the DOJ had asked for.

This still does not satisfy Apple. “Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing. The iBookstore gave customers more choice and injected much needed innovation and competition into the market,” says spokesman Tom Neumayr, via email. “Apple will pursue an appeal of the injunction.”


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik