I am pro apple and have a lot riding on them being successful, but their stance on ebooks is bad for consumers period.
They signed deals with all major publishers for agency model that gives them a 30% cut and also, gets most favor nation pricing.
Not considering other products and only talking about books - this is bad.
Before ebooks, book pricing has suggested retail pricing by publishers. Retail stores can have sales that under cut these suggested retail prices. I have not heard any publishers complain about these sale prices.
Now, enter ebooks. Amazon started having these sales and other retailers and publishers start complaining about Amazon's tactics. But this is not new tactic, this is something developed by retails from hardcover books.
Now, Apple comes in and dictates MFN pricing, so now publishers will lose money whenever any ebooks price below publisher suggested retail price. This is a big no-no for consumers. Publishers should not be liable for retail prices as by publisher agreement with DOJ, they are not supposed to be able to impose retail pricing. Otherwise, they will be able to become cartels.
Let's use a hypothetical example of selling TV- if the same agreements have been agreed to by TV manufactures with Apple. With Apple's MFN pricing, if Walmart has a black friday sale where they sell a 50" TV for $200, Apple will be able to sell the same TV for $200 and yet, get $60 profit, which the TV maker needs to subsidize to Apple, while Walmart pays the wholesale price for the TV and marks it down to $200 as part of their money losing marketing to get people to come and shop at their stores. As you can see with this example, TV manufactures will approach Walmart and prevent them from selling at a loss, which is exactly what happen to book publishers and Amazon.
I hope this TV scenario helps you all understand why DOJ is fighting against this Apple deal and how they don't want others to copy these type of deals into other biz markets.