Apple Found Guilty of Ebook Price Fixing Conspiracy, Appeals Decision

A US federal judge has found Apple guilty of price fixing ebooks.

The judge ruled today that the world’s most valuable technology company conspired to raise retail prices of digital books. A separate trial for damages is slated to follow, but Apple has appealed the decision, citing “false accucsations.”

The government recently described Apple has the “ringmaster” of the ebook price fixing conspiracy, which was allegedly aimed at weakening Amazon’s domination over the digital book realm.

Here’s a snippet from the judge’s 160-page decision:

The question in this case has always been a narrow one: whether Apple participated in a price-fixing scheme in violation of this country’s antitrust laws. Apple is liable here for facilitating and encouraging the Publisher Defendants’ collective, illegal restraint of trade. Through their conspiracy they forced Amazon (and other resellers) to relinquish retail pricing authority and then they raised retail e-book prices. Those higher prices were not the result of regular market forces but of a scheme in which Apple was a full participant.

Apple argues that it did not fix prices; rather, it brought “much needed innovation and competition” into the market when it launched the iPad and iBooks three years ago, according to a spokesman.