Apple replied quickly to the Department of Justice’s proposals for injunctive relief in the e-book price fixing case, calling the injunction “a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm.” As expected, Apple attacked the breadth of the government’s request, calling it “a sweeping and unprecedented injunction as a tool to empower the Government to regulate Apple’s businesses and potentially affect Apple’s business relationships with thousands of partners across several markets.”
The government oversight, which could last 10 years, goes “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,” Apple’s brief argued.
The DoJ is looking to leverage the ruling to gain oversight of not only its e-book business, but its entire content business, Apple argued, contending that the company has "strong arguments for appeal." The company further argued that since the consent decrees made with the publishers addressed the charge of price fixing, Apple, at best, should face only a limited injunction. While denying it broke any antitrust laws, Apple said any "valid injunction" could include: (1) reasonable limitations on Apple’s ability to share information (akin to the publishers’ consent decrees); (2) a prohibition, tracking the publishers’ consent decrees, on retail price MFNs in agreements with the publisher defendants; and (3) reasonable antitrust training obligations for Apple, lasting a reasonable term.