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DOJ defends its Apple lawsuit

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“The Department stuck to its view that what matters most is that consumers be able to buy e-books at the lowest prices possible in free market competition and that Apple and five publishers colluded illegally in instituting the agency model,” writes industry newsletter Shelf Awareness. “The Department defended all of its proposed remedies, right down to its requirements of ‘logs of communications among publishers,’ federal review of any joint ventures and ‘antitrust counseling’ for publishing executives.”

In other words, the DOJ said it’s not wavering.

As reported in previous posts on the suit, three publishers – HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster – have agreed to settle the DOJ suit while Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan continue to fight the charges. The settlement with the first three publishers was opened to public comment, bringing a deluge of responses from individuals and groups including the Authors Guild, independent publishers, Barnes & Noble, literary agents, and Apple itself, which has long argued that the DOJ’s suit will endanger e-book retailers and distributors alike and result in Amazon’s market domination.

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