Over a year ago, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company conspired with several book publishers to fix prices on e-books for the launch of iBooks for the iOS platform in 2010. Apple has claimed repeatedly that the charges are not true. Today, the trial between the government and Apple in this case officially began.
Reuters reports that the government will try to prove their case that Apple worked out a deal with five of the biggest book publishers to set prices in an attempt to break the massive hold on Amazon's Kindle e-book business, which sets its own prices. The five book publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon and Schuster) have all since agreed to settle their cases with the government for a total amount of $164 million.
For its part, Apple claims that it was not aware that most of the major book publishers were trying to conspire to fix e-book prices. It also says that since the launch of iBooks for iOS in 2010, the average price for an e-book has gone down.
If the government wins its case, it will seek to have Apple ordered by the court to not engage in similar behavior. However, Apple could still have to deal with a number of other class action lawsuits filed against it if the court finds that Apple did indeed try to fix e-book prices.
Source: Reuters | Image via Apple