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Regulators propose punishment for Apple e-book price-fixing

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Apple deserves a five-year ban from entering anti-competitive e-book distribution contracts, and should also end its business arrangements with five major publishers with which it conspired to raise e-book prices, federal and state regulators said on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Justice and 33 U.S. states and territories proposed those changes and others after a federal judge last month found in a civil antitrust case that Apple conspired with the publishers to raise e-book prices.

(Read More: Cramer: Apple should buy Yelp for $75 per share)

Regulators accused Apple of conspiring to undercut Amazon.com e-book dominance, causing some e-book prices to rise to $12.99 or $14.99 from the $9.99 that the online retailer had been charging.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan on July 10 ruled that Apple had played a "central role" in a conspiracy to eliminate retail price competition and raise e-book prices.

(Read More: Apple supplier accused of labour violations)

A hearing to discuss remedies is scheduled for Aug. 9. Cote has said she also plans to hold a trial on damages.

—Reuters.

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