While Macmillan admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, this would appear to be an important component of the deal:
"The proposed settlement agreement will impose a strong antitrust compliance program on Macmillan, including requirements that it provide advance notification to the Justice Department of any e-book ventures it plans to undertake jointly with other publishers and regularly report to the department on any communications it has with other publishers."
I'm reasonably certain that was some of what they were hoping to avoid. The usual no Most Favored for 5 years is in the deal as well.
Sargent's commentary, as usual, is a little breathtaking:
"Macmillan CEO John Sargent said in a letter posted online that the company ultimately settled "because the potential penalties became too high to risk even the possibility of an unfavorable outcome.""
I would like to refer Sargent to Seth Godin's thin, but in retrospect increasingly important _The Dip_. And also to say, gee, that finally occurred to you? Altho I suppose Macmillan may, like a lot of other people (corporate and otherwise), have been hoping for a different electoral outcome in November and, as a result, a shakeup at DOJ that might have resulted in more agreeable people (from the publishers perspective).