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Court: Apple needs monitoring after 'blatant' e-book price fixing


Following Judge Denise Cote's ruling that Apple conspired with book publishers to increase the price of e-books across the board, the DOJ put forth a proposal intent on rectifying the damage caused by Apple's actions.

The proposal was extremely far-reaching, and called for Apple to allow competitors like Amazon to include links to their own e-book stores from within their iOS apps. The proposal also suggested a court-appointed monitor should be hired to keep an eye on Apple's activities and to ensure that the company doesn't run afoul of antitrust laws going forward. What's more, the proposal also called for Apple to hire an internal antitrust compliance officer to train and educate Apple executives about the ins and outs of antitrust laws.

While Cote stated yesterday that Apple doesn't have to worry about a punishment that affects the way it conducts its business (translation: its in-app purchase rules are safe), the same can't be said for corporate oversight.

Reuters reports:

She said a monitor would be necessary, after Apple had failed to show it learned its lesson from its "blatant" violations of antitrust law.

The monitor, she said, would likely be installed to review Apple's internal antitrust compliance program and procedures and recommend changes, and also required annual antitrust training for employees in Apple's e-books and content businesses.

Apple had vigorously contested hiring of a monitor, saying in court papers it would be "extremely costly and burdensome."

The Justice Department had earlier also sought to force Apple to hire an internal antitrust compliance officer, but has since backed off that demand.

Apple, of course, plans to appeal the ruling.

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