Department of Justice

DOJ’s Statement of Support for Apple’s Ebook Price-Fixing Punishment

[Press Release] STATEMENT BY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL BAER ON REMEDY TO ADDRESS APPLE’S PRICE FIXING OF E-BOOKS Remedy Requires Apple to Modify Agreements with Five Publishers; Provides for a Court-Appointed External Monitor; Includes Anti-Retaliatory Provisions to Protect Publishers; Prohibits Apple from Engaging in Future Anticompetitive Conduct WASHINGTON – Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of...

DOJ Backtracks on Apple Punishment Recommendations

The U.S. Department of Justice backtracked from harsh penalties it recommended the U.S. Southern District Court impose on Apple as punishment for colluding to fix the price of ebooks. In early August, the DOJ filed a proposed punishment with the court that, if adopted by Judge Denise Cote, would have drastically changed how Apple...

Did the Death of Agency Pricing for Ebooks Kill Nook?

Many pixels have been spilled of late on Barnes & Noble’s downward trajectory*. Needless to say, things aren’t going well right now for the largest bookstore chain in the U.S. And I think the Department of Justice’s actions against Apple and the five largest U.S. publishers have something to do with it. There are...

DOJ: Apple Exec Admits Deal With Publishers Caused Some Ebook Prices to Rise

In what might prove a turning point of the closely watched ebook price-fixing trial currently playing out in lower Manhattan, Apple executive Eddie Cue admitted that his company’s deals with publishers caused the prices of some best-selling ebooks to rise. According to C|Net, much of the trial hinges on whether ebook prices actually did...

Indies Speak Up About DOJ Action (Hint: They Hate It)

Though the Department of Justice’s price-fixing suit is directed against publishing behemoths like Macmillan and Penguin, its outcome will dramatically affect independent publishers as well. In case you’re not sure how, publisher Peter Osnos has spelled it out for us in The Atlantic. Nine highly respected and influential indies such as Abrams, Chronicle, Grove/Atlantic,...

Guild Slams DOJ Action – “Will Harm Readers in the Long Run”

Paul Aiken, Executive Director of the Authors Guild, has issued an open letter to the chief of litigation in the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, expressing its opposition to the DOJ’s proposed settlement of the price-fixing charges against Apple and several major publishers.  We reproduce it in full below. Richard Curtis ******************************** Feel free...

E-Book Prices Must Come Down

If you seek cogency on digital publishing subjects you’ll always find it in Laura Hazard Owen’s postings. A good example is a recent one on the implications for consumers of the settlement agreements with the Department of Justice in its conspiracy lawsuit against five major publishers and Apple. What does the settlement mean for...

Was Steve at the Table? If Not, DoJ Case against Apple Could Crumble

“Is this a joke? Are we being punked?” That’s what we asked when we cautiously reprinted an alleged email thread setting up a dinner among executives of major publishing companies to discuss “The $9.99 Problem”, a coded reference to Apple’s entrance into the e-book business in competition with Amazon’s $9.99 e-book price ceiling. (See...

C for Coincidence? Or Conspiracy?

The Department of Justice’s suit against publishers and Apple introduced terms like “Collusion” and “Conspiracy” into the discourse of people whose legal vocabulary seldom ventures beyond the language of warranty and option clauses. The words are jarring enough to rattle teeth in the hushed corridors of one of the most civilized of professions. And...

On the Dinner Menu: Fishy Discussions about “$9.99 Problem”

Is this a joke? A Melville House posting by Kelly Burdick has allegedly unearthed email exchanges among executives of some Big Six Publishers plus Steve Jobs of Apple setting up a dinner to discuss “the $9.99 problem”. The email thread comes from “From deep inside the files of the Justice Department”, says Melville, and...

Harper, Bowing to DOJ Pressure Over Agency Model, Settles

This just in from HarperCollins: Contact: Erin Crum Vice President, Corporate Communications HarperCollins Publishers (212) 207-7223 Erin.Crum@harpercollins.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE HarperCollins Publishers Settles e-Book Pricing Dispute with the Department of Justice New York, NY (April 11, 2012) — HarperCollins Publishers today announced that it has reached an agreement with the United States Department of...