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Apple fires back, calls DOJ e-book remedies 'draconian and punitive'

August 02, 2013|By Chris O'Brien
  • Apple and the Justice Department will be back in court on Aug. 9 for a hearing on proposed remedies in the e-book antitrust case.
Apple and the Justice Department will be back in court on Aug. 9 for a hearing… (Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images )

In a filing on Friday, Apple Inc. fired back against a series of measures proposed by federal attorneys that would restrict the company's ability to strike electronic-book deals.

Apple attorneys said the "injunction is a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple's business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm. Plaintiffs propose a sweeping and unprecedented injunction as a tool to empower the Government to regulate Apple's businesses and potentially affect Appleā€™s business relationships with thousands of partners across several markets."

Last month, a New York federal judge ruled that Apple had conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices. Earlier Friday, the Department of Justice filed its proposed remedies it wants the judge to impose on Apple. 

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Those measures included appointing an external antitrust monitor, restricting Apple's ability to negotiate deals on e-books with publishers and requiring the company to let competitors to include links in their iOS apps to their own bookstores. 

In its rebuttal, Apple said the DOJ's request should be rejected because it "contains broad, invasive, and vague provisions" and an "absurdly broad proposal."  

"Plaintiffs' overreaching proposal would establish a vague new compliance regime -- applicable only to Apple -- with intrusive oversight lasting for ten years, going far beyond the legal issues in this case, injuring competition and consumers, and violating basic principles of fairness and due process," the filing reads.

Apple says it is effectively prohibited from repeating the behavior the court deemed illegal because all the publisher partners had already settled their cases. 

A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9.

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