Five major publishers are asking the United States Department of Justice to rethink is recommendations that Apple Inc. be banned from entering anti-competitive eBook distribution contracts for five years.
The publishers which include Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group Inc., New Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Pearson Plc.’s Penguin Group (USA) Inc., CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc., and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan, however said, the proposed ban will punish them rather than Apple.
They content that such a move would eliminate the so-called “agency model” where publishers, rather than Apple, set the retail price of eBooks.
The alleged collusion began in 2009 and continued until 2010 just as Apple was launching its iPad tablet device.
Apple went to trial while the publishers settled with the DOJ by agreeing to begin discounting eBook prices. The discount amounted to more than $166 million.
Last week, Apple filed a motion objecting to the DOJ’s proposal, calling it a “draconian and punitive intrusion.”