Within a fraction of a day that saw the U.S. Department of Justice, along with over 30 states, propose a set of solutions for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) following its July loss in the e-books price-fixing case, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has returned its own proposal maintaining that the company did nothing wrong and said that the government’s proposal was confused, unwarranted, vague and bellicose.
Apple not in friendly mood
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) seemed in no mood to act friendly when it filed a brief calling the governments proposal, “draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm.”
The brief continued, “Plaintiffs’ overreaching proposal would establish a vague new compliance regime — applicable only to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) — 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 resulting cost of this relief — not only in dollars but also lost opportunities for American businesses and consumers — would be vast.”
While filled with legalese, the vitriol was noticeable. It also showed just how far the two parties remain.
Department of Justice’s proposal
The proposal by the Department of Justice does seem harsh, and to laypersons suggests that they are looking to punish Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) by attacking its interests outside of Ebooks. The DOJ has asked that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) be prohibited from entering agreements with suppliers of “music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s competitors may sell that content.”
That is of course a core part of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s business, nearly everything in the iTunes store could potentially be affected.
Last April, the Justice Department sued Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), along with five of the six largest book publishers in the U.S., accusing all parties of conspiring to set e-book prices in order to hamper Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and destroy the online book seller’s Kindle. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) became the sole defendant in the case after the publishers made deals with the Justice Department something that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may regret in the long run.
However, it’s more likely that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will continue its plans to lodge an appeal to the ruling reached by the Southern District of New York and Judge Denise Cote. The threat of appeal may make both sides more reasonable in reaching an accord.