Judge Finds Apple Guilty of Conspiring to Fix Ebook Prices

The title says it all. Apple lost.

From Reuters:

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan found “compelling evidence” that Apple violated federal antitrust law by playing a “central role” in a conspiracy with the publishers to eliminate retail price competition and raise e-book prices.

Apple responded:

Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing. When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. We’ve done nothing wrong.

There’s a lot of truth there about increasing competition, but that’s sort of beside the point of conspiring to raise prices and eliminate price competition while doing so.

It seems unlikely this will have much further impact on the ebook market. The publishers settling took care of that already. It’s just a dent on Apple’s reputation and pocketbook at this point.

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