August 2, 2013 Last Updated 9:40 am

DOJ recommends to U.S. District Court that Apple be required to allow links to the Amazon, BN stores

The Justice Department today released its proposed remedies that they want the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to impose on Apple for finding that it was guilty of attempting to fix the price of eBooks. In addition to the termination of the existing eBook agreements with the five major book publishers, the DOJ has proposed that Apple be forced to allow links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble from within its iOS devices – a proposal that Apple is sure to fight, especially since no such links exist to the Apple iBookstore from within Kindles and NOOKs.

DOJ-flag-sm2“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,” Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General, in the press release. “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 DOJ has proposed that the existing contracts with Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster be terminated and that for five years Apple must “refrain for five years from entering new e-book distribution contracts which would restrain Apple from competing on price.”

But the proposal that Apple is sure to fight aggressively concerns in-devicd linking to external retail bookstores.

“To reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy, Apple must also for two years allow other e-book retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to provide links from their e-book apps to their e-bookstores, allowing consumers who purchase and read e-books on their iPads and iPhones easily to compare Apple’s prices with those of its competitors,” the proposal reads.

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