Apple Inc. broke antitrust laws and conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, citing “compelling evidence” from the words of the late Steve Jobs.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said Apple knew that no publisher could risk acting alone to try to eliminate Amazon.com’s $9.99 price for the most popular e-books so it “created a mechanism and environment that enabled them to act together in a matter of weeks to eliminate all retail price competition for their e-books.”
The Manhattan jurist, who did not determine damages, added: “The evidence is overwhelming that Apple knew of the unlawful aims of the conspiracy and joined the conspiracy with the specific intent to help it succeed.”
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company planned to appeal.
“Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations,” he said. “We’ve done nothing wrong.”
Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer called the ruling “a victory for millions of consumers who choose to read books electronically.”
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