Publishers Say Apple's Price-Fixing Punishment Hurts Them More Than Apple

This is what happens when you get a little too tricky with retail pricing. Now that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is facing penalties for conspiring with five publishers to raise the price of e-books, those publishers are objecting to the Justice Department's proposed remedies, arguing that the remedies change the settlements that the publishers already reached with the government and do more to punish the publishers than to punish Apple. The gist: The publishers (Penguin, Hachette, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins) agreed to let Apple discount e-books for two years, while Justice wants to require Apple to discount for five years. For the record, Apple doesn't like Justice's plan either, calling it "draconian and punitive." They'll all be back in court on Friday (Aug. 9) to try to sort it out. Good luck with that. Story