Court rules Apple must obey in ebook antitrust case

A judge has told Apple that it can’t bully the legal system so that it is not punished for its anti-trust antics.

Apple, which has always denied that it is an evil monopolist, was doing its best to prevent it copping any form of punishment for running a cartel in the publishing industry.

One remedy which stuck in its craw was that it had to hire a policeman with the authority to kick its arse when it did anything that remotely stank of breaching anti-trust rules.

This is like appointing a Catholic priest to police Scientology, and Apple wants the demand dropped.

Apple said that hiring a monitor would be “extremely costly and burdensome” we guess because it is such a small company and can’t afford it.

But US District Judge Denise Cote 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.

So far the Judge has been fairly laid back about the injunction and allowed Apple to negotiate with the DoJ about a list of remedies, but she finally seems to have worked out that she is not dealing with a business but a religion which believes it can do no wrong.

Cote suggested a final injunction would be narrower than what the US Department of Justice has been seeking, and would not restrict Apple’s agreements with suppliers of other types of content such as movies, music and TV shows.

According to Bloomberg,  she said that she wanted an injunction to rest as lightly as possible on how Apple runs its business.

Cote is expected to issue an injunction next week.

The Justice Department, joined by 33 US states and territories, is now jostling with Apple over the scope of what Cote should do to prevent further antitrust violations.

Cote suggested that Apple hold staggered negotiations with publishers beginning in two years in an effort to avoid future collusion.

She said she would wait for the parties to hash out suggestions for final language for the injunction.