Immediately after the contracts took effect in April 2010, and publishers moved all their retailers to the agency model, prices of e-books offered by both Amazon and Barnes & Noble increased almost immediately — which attracted the attention of the DOJ.
All the publishers settled out of court, leaving Apple to defend its practices by itself.
Cote also ruled that, after a two-year period, Apple can renegotiate its deals with each of the five publishers. The judge staggered the time frames in which deals can be made with each publisher, also in a move to prevent collusion. Apple may strike a deal with Hachette in 24 months, with Harper-Collins in 30 months, Simon & Schuster in 36 months, Penguin in 42 months and Macmillan in 48 months.
The court must also decide on a penalty amount that Apple must pay, a decision that is scheduled to be made in early 2014, after both Apple and the DOJ deliver to the court estimates of how much such damages should be, given the number of e-books sold or not sold in the two-year time period beginning in April 2010.
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