Apple Found Guilty

Judge Denise Cote has sided with the Department of Justice and found Apple guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices: “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…. A trial on damages will follow.”

The publishers accused of conspiring with Apple all settled before the trial. Cote declared that Apple “provided the Publisher Defendants with the vision, the format, the timetable, and the coordination that they needed to raise e-book prices…. As Apple made clear to the Publishers, ‘There is no one outside of us that can do this for you. If we miss this opportunity, it will likely never come again.'”

Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr released a statement 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.”

The full verdict (which runs to 160 pages) can be read online here.