According to Reuters, U.S. Judge Denise Cote has ruled that Apple conspired to raise prices of e-books. As a result of the ruling, the judge has called for a new trial to assess damages. The US government and assorted states will seek injunctive relief as a result.
Apple had been accused of collusion with five publishers in an effort to boost prices, while reducing Amazon’s dominance in the marketplace. All five publishers had already settled with the U.S. government and states, prior to Apple going on trial.
The judge ruled that e-book prices were raised significantly citing an example of an Amazon e-book priced at $9.99 could be found at Apple’s iBooks store at $12.99 or $14.99. This quote from Judge Cote is damning to say the least.
“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,” Cote said.
As a result of this case, one could surmise that e-book prices in Apple’s store could now fall, in cases where they might have been artificially inflated. Not a win for Apple, but perhaps a win for consumers.