A U.S. District Judge ordered that Apple cannot enter into an agreement with publishers to fix the price of E-books. This comes after the Judge’s decision in July that found Apple guilty of conspiring with 5 publishers (Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster) to raise the price of E-books.
The decision found that during the launch of Apple’s iBooks store in 2010, Apple encouraged the publishers to set the price of E-books themselves instead of letting the market determine E-book prices. The scheme was meant to increase Amazon’s E-book prices since Apple couldn’t match their lower prices, resulting in the price of best-sellers increasing from $9.99 to $12.99 or even as high as $14.99.
The new restrictions prevent Apple from communicating with publishers to set E-book prices. Apple must also hire an external monitor to ensure future compliance.
For E-book consumers, this decision and order should ensure that E-book prices remain low and competitive.