A federal judge on Wednesday found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise the retail price of e-books. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote issued a 160-page document outlining the ruling and said a trial for damages will soon follow. The decision is being described as a win for U.S. government and various states which stand to receive injunctive relief.
Cote wrote in her ruling that at the end of the day, there is very little dispute about many of the most material facts in the case.
Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr persists that Cupertino did not fix e-book pricing. When Apple launched the iBookstore in 2010, it gave customers more choices and injected innovation and competition into the market. This, Neumayr said, broke Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. He concluded that Apple will continue to fight the false accusations and will appeal the judge’s decision.
The U.S. Department of Justice and state governments argued that Apple acted as a ringmaster of sorts in an effort to get book publishers to raise the rates of e-books. The goal was to change the overall business model and push Amazon from its throne as the market king.
All of the publishers involved in the case – Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster – have already settled but Apple decided to stick it out and fight until the very end as Cupertino insisted they could not admit being guilty of something they didn’t do.