US regulators call for clamp down on Apple e-book contracts with major publishers

With a court ruling in July having found tech giant Apple guilty of conspiring with five bigwig book publishers to fix the prices of e-books, the US regulators are now demanding a clamp down on Apple's e-book contracts with leading publishers.

In a move which apparently is an upshot of the July ruling in the antitrust e-book price-fixing case, the U. S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and 33 U. S. states and territories have recently put forth the proposal that Apple should not be allowed to enter anti-competitive e-book distribution contracts for five years.

In addition, it has also been proposed by the DoJ and other regulators that Apple should be asked to terminate its business models with the five publishers - Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster - it had conspired with for fixing e-book prices.

Furthermore, the proposal also includes the suggestion that an outside monitor should be used to ensure the effectiveness of Apple's antitrust policies; and retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble should be allowed to provide links to their options for two years.

About the DoJ's proposal, Bill Bae - Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DoJ's Antitrust Division - said: "Under the department's proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition in the future."

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