Apple E-Book Ruling Won't Cover Music Downloads

The agency pricing model will live on at the iTunes Store. The judge in the Apple e-book price fixing case said on Tuesday she will limit the focus of her ruling to e-books.
 
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said her ruling would not give the federal government oversight of all content at Apple's iTunes store. Just as the case was specific to e-books, the judge's ruling will be specific to e-books and will not cover other items sold at iTunes such as music, movies, television shows and magazines.

Apple Found Guilty of Conspiring with Publishers to Raise E-Book Prices

"I want this injunction to rest as lightly as possible on how Apple runs its business," Judge Cote said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "I want Apple to have the flexibility to innovate."
 
The government wanted a ruling that would impact more than just e-books. In its proposed remedy released earlier this month, the Justice Department proposed that Apple would "be prohibited from entering into agreements with suppliers of e-books, music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple’s competitor retailers may sell that content."
 
Apple and five book publishers were found guilty in June of colluding to limit price competition and raise e-book prices. The publishers did not got to trial and reached settlements with the Department of Justice. Apple settled a separate lawsuit with the European Commission last year.
 
Apple's e-books were priced using the agency model when the iBookstore launched in 2010. The agency model allows the publisher to set the price for e-books, in contrast to how Amazon, the leader in e-books, had set prices in its e-book store. The government had argued that e-book prices rose after Amazon was later forced to adopt the agency model.

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