After a U.S. District Court judged found Apple guilty of colluding with book publishers to fix the prices of e-books last month, it was unclear what the actual consequences would be for the iPad-maker. Well with little pomp or circumstance, the US Department of Justice has just cleared that up and it's not good for Apple.
Along with the 33 state attorneys general involved, the DOJ submitted a proposal on Friday that would require Apple to immediately terminate its agreements with the five book publishers it's been working with since the launch of the iPad. It would also bar Apple from entering into any new agreements with publishers for five-years as well as entering into agreements with other content providers that would cause prices to rise.
Perhaps most interesting however, is that the proposal would force Apple to allow rivals like Amazon and Barnes and Noble to include links to their own bookstores instead of redirecting everyone to the iBookstore. Because you know, that's only fair.
One more thing: the DOJ proposal would require Apple to employ an "external monitor" to make sure it doesn't engage in any more anti-competitive behaviour by "training Apple's senior executives and other employees about the antitrust laws and ensuring that Apple abides by the relief ordered by the court." There is no indication yet as to whether or not this will change Apple's business practices in the UK.
For the time being this is only a proposal, but it's one that falls in line with everything the DOJ said it would do if Apple was found guilty and they were. So there's little reason to believe these things won't come true. [AllThingsD]