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NEW YORK (AFP) – The U.S. Department of Justice said Friday that tech giant Apple must cut ties with the five publishers with which it was found guilty of running an e-book price-fixing scheme.

Last month, a U.S. district court in New York found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to fix book prices for readers using its iPad and iPhone devices.

On Friday, Justice Department officials submitted to the court a plan for Apple to cut its existing ties to the publishers and to make it easier for its rivals to sell books on its platforms.

“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,” assistant attorney general Bill Baer said.

The proposed settlement would see Apple end its agreements with five U.S.-based publishers: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Penguin and Simon and Schuster.

The tech firm would promise not to enter new contracts with the five to limit price competition for five years, and would allow other e-book retailers to sell their products on iPad and iPhone apps for two years.

Apple would also be ordered to pay the salary of an external monitor to confirm its compliance with anti-trust laws.

Photo Credit: AFP/Robert Michael

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