Apple has been found guilty of conspiring with book publishers, with an aim to inflate the prices of eBooks a US judge has ruled.
Apple had played a "central role" during collusion with book publishers in the US attempting to increase prices of eBooks US District Judge Denise Cote ruled. With Apple preying on the publishers disgust over Amazon's pricing practices for selling eBooks on its platform, with Apple assuring the publishers that "it was willing to work with them to raise those prices, suggesting prices such as $12.99 and $14.99" as alternatives.
The Judge in her findings stated that :
The Plaintiffs have shown that the Publisher Defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing that conspiracy. Without Apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the Spring of 2010.
The five publishers that were originally named in the lawsuit as defendants alongside Apple (Hachette Book Group Inc, Macmillan, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuste) have already reached various settlements ahead of the trial with the Department of Justice, leaving Apple alone to take the brunt of the ruling.
Apple released a statment after the decision stating it's intent to appeal, saying :
Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations. 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 and we will appeal the judge's decision.