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U.S. judge rules Apple conspires to raise prices on e-books

U.S. judge rules Apple conspires to raise prices on e-books

PanARMENIAN.Net - A U.S. federal judge has ruled that Apple did conspire to raise prices on e-books, following a 3-week non-jury trial that ended last month, The Next Web reports.

Last year, we reported that the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) was going ahead with lawsuits against Apple and five major publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Penguin – over alleged e-book price fixing. Essentially, the DoJ was investigating whether Apple’s deals with the publishers amounted to price-rigging, in the wake of the iPad’s launch back in 2010.

The news comes a little over a month since the Apple trial started, and less than two months after Penguin became the last publisher to settle the case, paying $75 million in the process.

This was the single-biggest payout from the five publishers implicated in the case, and followed Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins, which had previously agreed to settle for around the $70m mark, then MacMillan also agreed to pay $12m earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said that the decision was a victory for the U.S. government and the 33 states that had brought the case to trial. Apple had previously argued that the suite was flawed, saying the pricing spurred competition and e-reader advances.

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