Apple may face a reduced punishment for conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices under a new proposal from the U.S. government.

The Department of Justice suggested in a court filing Friday that it would halve the length of a proposed injunction, to five years from 10. The injunction would keep the U.S.-based company from entering deals with publishers that would limit price competition.

The proposal includes a chance to seek a number of one-year extensions if warranted. It also proposes staggering renegotiations of Apple's contracts with publishers.

Apple Inc. couldn't be immediately reached.

The government says it made the modification based on concerns that the original proposal would outlive its usefulness and unnecessarily harm Apple in the fast-changing industry. But it still believes the punishment fixes competitive concerns.

 

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