Justice Department Proposes Ceasing Of Apple E-Book Deals For 5 Years

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The Justice Department and 33 attorney generals gave Apple proposals on Friday to make up for e-book price fixing.  One of the most reasonable settlements was a five-year ban on making e-book distribution contracts with the five major publishers Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.

Apple would be required to allow Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble provide links to their stores within the iPhone and iPad apps for two years on top of that.  This would allow consumers that want to buy and read e-books on their iPhones and iPads easily compare Apple’s prices with their competitors.

Apple would also be prohibited from making deals with the publishers, which would likely increase the prices.  The Justice Department announced their recommendations after a New York district judge found Apple was guilty of conspiring to raise the e-book prices with publishers.  The judge decided that Apple violated antitrust and state laws.

Apple allegedly conspired with the five publishers to raise the price of new releases and and best sellers at between $12.99 and $14.99 compared to Amazon.com’s price limit of $9.99.  These negotiations took place in the two months leading into the launch of the iPad and iBookstore in January 2010.  The proposal hearing is taking place on August 9th, according to Mashable.

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