Attorney General George Jepsen announced that a federal judge has ruled against Apple in an eBook price fixing trial his office has been litigating along with Texas and the US Department of Justice.
“As we have said throughout our investigation, consumers are entitled to a fair, open and competitive marketplace,” Attorney General Jepsen said in a press release. “The judge found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Apple conspired to restrain the marketplace for eBooks. This is a welcome decision for consumers and, as we move into the next phase of this trial, we will continue to aggressively seek compensation for those who have been injured by this conspiracy.”
Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said in her ruling that book publishers, unhappy with Amazon’s $9.99 e-book prices, worked out an arrangement collectively with Apple that essentially forced Amazon to raise its e-books prices or risk losing the publishing rights to popular titles.
“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 wrote in her ruling, “Without Apple’s orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did in the Spring of 2010. “
The lawsuit and a number of previously announced settlements are the result of a two year investigation conducted by Connecticut and Texas as well as the US Department of Justice. Connecticut consumers who purchased e-books can visit ebookagsettlements.com for more information.