The Rotten Apple

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Apple found guilty of conspiring to raise e-book prices

Apple has been found guilty of conspiring with book publishers to raise e-book prices, in one of the biggest anti-trust lawsuits ever brought by US federal authorities, notes a report in The Guardian.

It says US district judge Denise Cote ruled yesterday (Wednesday) that the company played a ‘central role’ in a conspiracy with the biggest book publishers in the US to fix prices in violation of antitrust law. Executives from the companies would meet in the private dining rooms of upscale New York restaurants to bemoan the low prices charged by the e-books market leader Amazon, and what they could do about it, Cote said in her ruling, according to the report.

It states Cote ruled that damages would be determined at a new hearing.

Apple continued to deny yesterday that it had done anything wrong, and said it planned an appeal. The report says the ruling was not unexpected, as Cote had earlier suggested that Apple’s defence would fail, and the publishers – Hachette Book Group Inc, Macmillan, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster – settled with the Department of Justice ahead of the trial.

Full report in The Guardian