July 10, 2013
The judge in the historic e-book case has found Apple guilty of colluding with five major U.S. publishers to drive up the price of books. A trial on damages is to be scheduled, according to The Wall Street Journal. The decision by United States District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan is a victory for the U.S. government and various states, which the judge said are entitled to injunctive relief. She stated:
Apple is liable here for facilitating and encouraging the Publisher Defendants' collective, illegal restraint of trade.Over a three-week civil antitrust trial, which ended June 20, the Justice Department said that Apple agreed with the publishers in January 2010 to allow them set a higher price for best sellers and new releases in response to the publishers' "Amazon problem": a $9.99 price point for those books on Amazon.com Inc. As a result, prices for e-book best sellers rose to $12.99 and $14.99, the government claimed in its lawsuit. The judge agreed with the government that this action was illegal. The publishers have already settled with the federal government on e-book pricing.