In what could do more harm to Apple than just financial ones, a US court on Tuesday confirmed that Apple had indeed — with the aid of five book publishers — tried to conspire in fixing ebook prices, by bringing about a raise in prices with the help of mentioned publishers.
At the other end was the US justice department, which was instrumental in the 2013 appeal in which U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan ruled that
Apple had indeed hatched a conspiracy with certain publishers to raise the prices of various titles that were being sold at the price of $9.99 by Amazon up to the level of $12.99 or $14.99 .
The decision on Apple’s appeal, was taken in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where it was agreed by a 2 to 1 vote that the company had indeed erred on the wrong side of the line in its competition drive.
Branding Apple’s actions as “unreasonably restrained trade,” Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston said,
The district court did not err in concluding that Apple was more than an innocent bystander.
Apple however, is still defiant and may be mulling over a repeal in some other court.
While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values, We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are accessing next steps.
Principles and values aside, its pretty obvious why Apple isn’t likely to just bow down it’s head and accept the judge’s verdict. Not only will the case tarnish Apple’s reputation to a huge extent but will also result in the company having to pay consumers damages to the tune of $450 million, as under a 2014 settlement of a class action with 33 state attorneys generals and lawyers.
However, there were some, who sympathized with Apple, such as U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs, who found Apple’s behaviour pro-competitive (emphasis my own)
Apple took steps to compete with a monopolist and open the market to more entrants, generating only “minor competitive restraints” in the process.
instead of in violation of the antitrust laws, as thought of by most of his peers.
The Justice department also disclosed the identities of the 5 publishers thought to have been involved in the conspiracy . The publishers are Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group Inc, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan.