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back to article Ebook judge: Guilty Apple must hire anti-antitrust watchdog to probe itself

Apple won't have to restrict contracts with suppliers of movies, music and TV shows to iTunes in its ebook price-fixing injunction, a US judge said yesterday. District Judge Denise Cote said in a court hearing that the final order on Apple, after the company was found guilty of conspiring with publishers to set the price of …

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Big Brother

Wow

Seems that Big Brother is going to get a taste for Apples

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Anonymous Coward

Wait what?

Surely I can't be reading that right?

"You've broken the law! You go ahead and keep the 'spoils' of your lawbreaking, however you must have this guy watching you to instruct you on how not to break the law in the future"

So basically:

"You are guilty of robbing the bank! You keep the $300 million you stole, however you have to report in to this guy who'll instruct you in how to not rob banks in future"

Does this mean that Apple is to the Tech industry what bank executives are to banking?

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Re: Wait what?

Uh, no, the damages part (i.e. fines, etc) comes in the next phase of the trial next year.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wait what?

I thank you good Sir!

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Silver badge

Re: Wait what?

Yeah, I know most of the posters here still don't want to believe it, but this case, like the DoJ case against MS, was never about the consumers. It's always been about the government extending its control into another market segment, and probably to the benefit of another corporation making campaign donations.

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Windows

I look forward to.......

........to the usual suspects explaining this "light touch" approach in the context of their autohowling whenever Redmond is mentioned. Can we look forward to screams of "Convicted Monopolist" perhaps?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I look forward to "Convicted Monopolist"

Certainly not when. after this judgement, "Convicted Judge Briber" will do very nicely, thank you.

"I want this injunction to rest as lightly as possible on how Apple runs its business"

I cannot complain about the honesty, at least. It is...refreshing...to hear a corporate apologist be so forward for once.

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Thumb Up

"Convicted Judge Briber" will do very nicely, thank you"

I love it!

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Happy

Re: "Convicted Judge Briber" will do very nicely, thank you"

Scroll fast enough and it looks like "Convicted Justin Bieber", if only.

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Silver badge

Unbe-fsckin-lievable

"I want this injunction to rest as lightly as possible on how Apple runs its business,"

Translation: You did a bad thing, but the customers you took for a ride can go [censored].

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The point

The DOJ solution would just make Amazon more of a monopoly. The judge made a good call here. Apple screwed up and needs to be punished, but not by making Amazon stronger.

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Anonymous Coward

Anti-antitrust makes no sense

The "trusts" were the huge American cartels and monopolies of the late 19th century in oil, rail, etc. The antitrust laws targeted them.

So Apple must hire an antitrust watchdog, not an anti-antitrust watchdog.

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Happy

Re: Anti-antitrust makes no sense

We should start an anti anti-antitrust watchdog campaign, just to put things clear.

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Re: Anti-antitrust makes no sense

I read anti-antitrust watchdog as they need to hire someone to probe the antitrust watchdog. So maybe we need an anti-anti-antitrust campaign to make sure that Apple complies properly with the order and isn't undermined by the anti-antitrust watchdog (hmmm... with all these watchdogs, I just have an image of a litter of watchpups).

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Bronze badge

Missing the target group, aren't we?

The monitor will review Apple's internal compliance procedures and recommend changes as well as overseeing annual anticompetitive law training for employees.

As the contract in question was negotiated by the former CEO of the company, I wonder what any ordinary employee could have done to avoid it.

Compliance structures in companies are usually some kind of bypass for employees, to report directly to the compliance officer, which has to be high enough in the organisation to skip any middle management that might be guilty and would otherwise cover the dirt. The idea is to give the board a chance to find out as fast as possible if anything illegal is going on, in order to make a deal with the authorities. In cartel cases, usually the party who blows the whistle first comes away easily.

If top management is involved in the dirty deal, nothing the employees do will help.

It might have been helpful to give a compliance lecture to Mr. Jobs. I doubt he would have changed the deal, but at least he might have kept more silent about it.

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Bronze badge

Still in denial

"The judge said that the monitor was necessary since the fruity firm had shown that it had failed to learn its lesson with "blatant" violations of antitrust law."

...

"Apple maintains that it has broken no laws and is planning to appeal against the verdict."

Obviously still hasn't learnt it's lesson and the watchdog will do no good if they don't even think they have done anything wrong.

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Re: Still in denial

Still probably right. Which people will discover when the case gets overturned on appeal. Apple clearly read the tea leaves (or more precisely the financial reports of the book publishers) and knew what was coming. So they are playing the long game and are likely to win, precisely because you aren't prohibited from gaining a monopoly, only doing so by illegal means. So long as no conversation setting the price of the books took place, no illegal means were used, even if Jobs expected the price would eventually settle at $9.99.

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Bronze badge

Compliance is optional

Don't sell books!

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