Judge Denise Cote has issued her penalty ruling in the ebook pricing lawsuit against Apple. She has ruled that the company must stagger its contract negotiations with major publishers to prevent collusion and avoid entering into “most favored nation” (MFN) agreements with any publisher for five years, reports “GigaOM” (http://tinyurl.com/n7kyrvb).

The MFN clauses in Apple’s contracts with publishers prevented any other e-book retailer from undercutting Apple, giving Apple the right to at least match the best pricing offered by other retailers. “The Department of Justice will be happy, because the final injunction contains a lot of what it had asked for,” notes “GigaOm.”