DOJ settlement would require Apple to allow links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble e-book stores

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Amazon and Barnes & Noble are not currently allowed to link from their native iOS apps to outside e-book stores. But the U.S. Department of Justice has proposed a settlement that would require Apple to allow such links for a two-year period.

iBooks


The terms of the proposed settlement in the Apple e-book price fixing case were published on Friday by the Justice Department. Though Amazon and Barnes & Noble were singled out, the policy could apply to other e-book sellers as well.

The DOJ said the change would allow consumers on the iPad and iPhone to "easily compare Apple's prices with those of its competitors." Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases made through App Store software, and does not allow developers to circumvent this rule by linking to a website for purchases.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others were required to update their apps two years ago, when Apple revised its policy to ban links to out-of-app purchases. Users can still access the content they have bought outside of an application, but buying new content requires manually opening a browser and navigating to the necessary website."Under the department?s proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future." - Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division

According to the DOJ, the changes would "reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy." A U.S. District Court judge found Apple guilty of e-book price fixing last month, but the iPad maker has vowed to appeal the decision.

The proposed DOJ settlement would also require Apple to terminate its existing e-book agreements with the five major publishers it was found to have conspired with to fix prices. Those publishers are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.

In addition, Apple would be prevented from entering new e-book distribution contracts with those publishers for five years, constraining the company from competing on price.

The DOJ settlement would also go beyond e-books, prohibiting Apple from entering agreements with suppliers of "music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple's competitor retailers may sell that content."

"The court found that Apple's illegal conduct deprived consumers of the benefits of e-book price competition and forced them to pay substantially higher prices," said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. "Under the department?s proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future."

The proposal, made public Friday, is pending court approval.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 88
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,217member
    Apple should take that deal... but amazon must be forced to allow ibooks on there ecosystem...
  • Reply 2 of 88
    If you want to encourage illegal downloads again, this is the way!
  • Reply 3 of 88
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 851member
    That is stupid! That's like requiring Target to put Walmart ads next to their registers and provide transportation to go there.
  • Reply 4 of 88


    DOJ is forcing Apple to stay as a hardware business, which is wrong.  A company should have the right to decide which business model it chooses.

  • Reply 6 of 88


    Wow. Down is up. Night is day. Out is in. ITC, Senate, DoJ, judges...... all bashing away on our tax dollars!


     


    Told ya, this was a waste of time -- and incredibly poor PR -- for Apple, right from the get-go. They should have sucked it up, pre-empted it, and settled once the publishers folded. Certainly not the most honorable thing to do, but the most practical.


     


    Now the only strategy left is to ratchet it up with an appeal, dragging it all out even more.

  • Reply 7 of 88
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,646member
    According to the DOJ, the changes would "reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy."

    You mean the DOJ would shut down b&n, Apple and other ebook sellers so Amazon can have >90% market share again?
  • Reply 8 of 88
    Simply put, No, Hell No!
  • Reply 9 of 88
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    herbapou wrote: »
    Apple should take that deal

    You should shush.
  • Reply 10 of 88
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    herbapou wrote: »
    Apple should take that deal
    Just like Apple should let carriers put bloatware on the iPhone?
  • Reply 11 of 88
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    No way Apple will take this deal,and DOJ knows that.
  • Reply 12 of 88
    Just in case the DOJ did not read and understand it the first time (above)...

    No. Hell no!
  • Reply 13 of 88
    fuwafuwafuwafuwa Posts: 163member
    Just kick that Amazon app from App Store.
  • Reply 14 of 88
    Screw the DOJ. If they keep this up, ebooks will be sold through Ireland. ;)
  • Reply 15 of 88


    I don't understand... how is this NOT enforcing a deliberate conflict of interest?


    Someone help me out, here.

  • Reply 16 of 88


    BEST SOLUTION IS, APPLE SHOULD REJECT THE AMAZON APP :) :)

  • Reply 17 of 88
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,217member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    You should shush.


     


    I feel like provocative today!


     


    While at it, I think Apple should open itune stores on android, and windows mobile and sell content in those market... and an app store too! Why not open an itune store and an "app store" on amazon tablets. If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS ! Same goes for google. Openning stores in others ecosystems can be a double edge sword. Facetime and imessage should be ported to other platforms too.


     


    Apple wont do it because it fears it will allow people trap in its ecosystem to flee elsewhere. Bunch of cowards!

  • Reply 18 of 88

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


     


    While at it, I think Apple should open itune stores on android, and windows mobile and sell content in those market... and an app store too! Why not open an itune store and an "app store" on amazon tablets. If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS ! Same goes for google. Openning stores in others ecosystems can be a double edge sword. Facetime and imessage should be ported to other platforms too.



    This is actually not a bad idea.


     


    I've always thought that Apple should also make iWork and iLife available on all platforms. They would make a killing. (I am also confident that, once people have experienced Apple's software -- except for Mail and iCloud both of which should be either revamped or shut down -- they'll slowly start to migrate to Apple hardware: i.e., they'd be excellent gateway products).

  • Reply 19 of 88
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    herbapou wrote: »
    If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS !

    They're not children playing in a sandbox. :p
  • Reply 20 of 88
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,646member
    herbapou wrote: »
    I feel like provocative today!

    While at it, I think Apple should open itune stores on android, and windows mobile and sell content in those market... and an app store too! Why not open an itune store and an "app store" on amazon tablets. If they refuse, you take down there app on iOS ! Same goes for google. Openning stores in others ecosystems can be a double edge sword. Facetime and imessage should be ported to other platforms too.

    Apple wont do it because it fears it will allow people trap in its ecosystem to flee elsewhere. Bunch of cowards!

    Apple sells hardware. Some benefits of iOS is the integration of iTunes and the App Store.

    It's smart business not cowardness.
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