When Apple decided to get into the e-book business, it joined a conspiracy with major publishers to raise book prices as much as 50 percent, a judge determined Wednesday.

Apple says it will appeal and argues that, on the contrary, its entry into digital book-selling helped offer consumers greater choice in a market dominated by Amazon.

Amazon, however, kept prices low, at $9.99 a book (ironically mirroring Apple’s business model in the music business). Amazon could force publishers to keep prices low as long as it was the only viable market for their wares. When Apple launched the iBooks store, publishers simultaneously raised their prices.

“Apple is confronted with the fact that the conspiracy succeeded. It not only succeeded, it did so in record-setting time and at the precise moment that Apple entered the e-book market,” said U.S. District Judge Denise Cote.

Cote said comments from Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs, who said one day all book prices would be the same, helped lose the company the case.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig