Judge rules that Apple tried to fix e-book prices

In what could be a landmark ruling in the e-book industry, a US district court judge has decided to side with the US government in their case against Apple. The government claimed Apple worked with the major US book publishers to fix and raise the prices of e-books when Apple launched its iBooks platform in 2010.

Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has now ruled that Apple did indeed conspire to boost e-book prices with those publishers. Cote ruled after Apple and the government went to trial on this subject in June. With today's ruling, the next step is another trial to be held later that will set up the damages that Apple will have to pay.

In her decision, Cote said that prices for e-books went up to $12.99 or $14.99 on iBooks, compared to the $9.99 price that Amazon has for similar e-books. She added:

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 government has already settled the e-book conspiracy cases with the five book publishers that Apple worked with (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon and Schuster) for a total amount of $164 million. Before and during the trial in June, Apple said the government's charges were not true. It also pointed out that since the launch of iBooks for iOS in 2010, the average price for an e-book has gone down.

Source: Reuters | Image via Apple

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“Apple did not conspire with a single publisher to fix prices in the e-book industry,” Apple's lawyer, Orin Snyder, said in his final argument.

which is apple speak for, we did not conspire with one publisher - we did it with all of them.

It's pay back time you rotten fruit! Trying to set your own prices with own terms. I hope they get fined billions of dollars and partially going to Amazon.com for manipulating the prices.

Funny now that the shoe is on the other foot, it is Apple saying they have done nothing wrong. They are appealing this so it is not the last were will hear about it.

eBooks... the only thing that can cost $25 when the new hardback version is selling for $10... yes I've seen that a LOT on amazon...

or an eBook version selling for $12 with a print edition selling for $1-$5...

Spicoli said,
A new hardback for $10? Which one was that?

just look around? there are TONS of hardback books for cheap out there that are new

I bought a Paloma Faith CD on Amazon the other day because it was a lot cheaper than the MP3s! Since Amazon lets you automatically download MP3s of CDs you buy from them, it was silly to buy the MP3s. The nice shrink-wrapped CD arrived, and will probably end up being a gift for whoever wants it.

"Judge rules that Apple tried to fix e-book prices"

There's a rap for that...

Edited by gb8080, Jul 10 2013, 3:16pm :

Gotta love prices of ebooks. Often more expensive than paper version; costs practically nothing to copy and redistribute.

Caleo said,
Gotta love prices of ebooks. Often more expensive than paper version; costs practically nothing to copy and redistribute.

May be it cost them a lot to put DRM on those ebooks.

Too much of this type of stuff going on. Not just with Apple, but Telcos, Energy suppliers, Petrol Co etc.

It's about time these people/companies were bought to book, and hit heavily in the only way they know...in the wallet!

Yep, and people go on about the good old days as if it never happened years ago. LOL

I am glad we are getting to an age these giants cannot get away with it anymore.

excalpius said,
...the six major movie studios colluding on everything from ticket and dvd prices to release dates.

You'll have to explain that. Ticket prices are set by movie theaters, DVD prices by retailers, and release dates aren't relevant.

Spicoli said,
Then you have the other side of it where people seem to think having to pay anything for anything is a conspiracy.

It seems that you either missed/ignored a "detail" of paramount importance:

The "other side" as you called it does not write fat checks to push its minions on Capitol Hill.... to, cough, cough, represent the interest of the "people"........