Apple found guilty in ebook price fixing conspiracy
10th Jul 2013 | 13:41
Do not pass go
Apple's in trouble with the law after a judge ruled that it conspired to increase ebook prices.
The ebook price fixing court case has been rumbling on in the US for some time; five publishers were also involved to begin with, but each opted to settle out of court instead of risking a guilty verdict.
Apple alone took the court-based gamble, which obviously hasn't paid off. The company will now face a trial to establish what damages it should pay out.
The lawsuit saw Apple accused of conspiring to prevent rival ebook retailers from lowering the prices of ebooks as the iPad and Kindle took off as ereaders.
Murky accusations included conspiring with publishers to threaten other sellers like Amazon with sales bans if they tried to reduce ebook prices.
Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Penguin were all fingered in the case; The first three folded first, while the latter duo followed suit earlier this year.
The out-of-court settlements meant that other retailers could set their own ebook prices. Apple maintained that it did nothing wrong, with CEO Tim Cook defiantly insisting in May, "We're not going to sign something that says we did something that we didn't do, so we're going to fight."
Unfortunately for Apple, the courts disagreed.