Apple blasts DOJ’s ‘absurdly broad’ remedy as a ‘draconian and punitive intrusion’

ipad-books copy 2This morning, the Justice Department proposed a remedy in the Apple e-book pricing case that requested a smorgasbord of sanctions against the Cupertino-based company. Unsurprisingly, Apple was not particularly happy with the ideas that the DOJ set forth.

“Plaintiffs’ proposed injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm,” the company said in its filing in response to the DoJ’s proposal.

The Justice Department is asking, among other things, for the judge to require that Apple check with a court-appointed antitrust overseer before entering into any contracts with other companies to ensure that the company’s agreements wouldn’t increase the price of goods on any market, not just in the realm of e-books.

Apple is having none of that, saying: “This absurdly broad proposal is not only disconnected from any evidence adduced at trial or findings made by this Court, but would open Apple up to liability in virtually every content market for the actions of content producers, over which it has no control.”

In addition, if the DoJ has its way, Apple would be required to allow Barnes & Noble and Amazon to link to their own book stores through their iOS apps. Currently, neither company does so because of App Store rules restricting the practice.

Here’s what Apple, according to its filing, thinks would constitute a valid injunction:

“A potentially valid injunction could include: (1) reasonable limitations on Apple’s ability to share information (akin to the publishers’ consent decrees.)…(2) a prohibition, tracking the publishers’ consent decrees, on retail price MFNs in agreements with the publisher defendants; and (3) reasonable antitrust training obligations for Apple, lasting a reasonable term. No further relief can be justified under the legal standard governing antitrust injunctions or the Constitution.”

Whether the Justice Department or Apple will get their way remains under the control of Denise Cote, the judge assigned to the case.

If you like long, dry, angry legal documents, here’s Apple’s filing. (via AllThingsD)

Previously on GeekWire: DOJ’s proposed Apple order could help Amazon sell more Kindle books on iPad, iPhone

  • Guest

    I understand. When I was a young stupid child, and an authority figure threatened discipline, I whined. Apple has demonstrated all the maturity of a five-year-old with this complaint.

    Thanks, Tim. You’ve opened the door. Your senior employees have used the passageway to leave. Your competitors are being ushered in. Be nice and greet them.

  • Guest

    MSFT whined just as loudly to no avail.

    • Guest

      What MS did was far less blatant or serious than what Apple did. Apple was found guilty of being the king pin in a price collusion case. MS’s various historical transgressions don’t even come close to that.

      • guest

        Really? Less blatant? Get real.

        • Guest

          Yes, really. Collusion and price fixing are known in advance to be illegal, far less leading a conspiracy to do that. Whereas everything MS was ultimately found guilty of was only illegal *after* they were determined to have a monopoly under the law. Then things they did, which were and still are legal for others to do, became illegal monopoly maintenance. Consider yourself educated. You’re welcome.

  • asok14215

    Sounds like Ariel Castro.

  • Apple is a monopolist

    As a monopolist, Apple should be prohibited from engaging in any anti-competitive practices. They don’t just do this with e-books. They do this in the words of DOJ with “e-books, music, movies, television shows [and] other content”. And most especially with apps. The 30% Apple Tax is higher than the income tax rate, as it comes on gross income not net profit. No company should be able to exert its monopoly power to that extent.

    • guest

      Ha Ha, this is funny stuff. Obviously you know nothing about how the legal application of anti-trust work.

      • Guest

        Never say never, Apple shill. You were probably convinced they weren’t going to lose the ebook case too, right?

    • Guest

      A case could be made for monopoly status in certain submarkets. But so far the Feds haven’t.