Apple broke antitrust laws by working with publishers to increase e-book prices, US court rules

 
Sarah Spickernell
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Before Apple entered the e-book market, it was dominated by Amazon (Source: Getty)
A federal appeals court in the US has ruled that Apple conspired with publishers to increase the prices of e-books.
It said today that the technology giant broke antitrust laws when it worked with the likes of Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster to fix some prices.
When Apple first launched its iBookstore, the market was completely dominated by rival Amazon. According to circuit judge Debra Ann Livingston, the price-fixing meant Apple "found an easy path to opening its iBookstore".
The US Justice Department said the conspiracy resulted in prices rising from $9.99 (£6.35) to up to $14.99 (£9.35) in some cases.
The final appeal decision comes two years after a ruling that Apple played a “central role” in colluding with publishers to become the dominant force in the market and erase competition.
Judge Dennis Jacobs, who upheld Apple's appeal, praised Apple's entry to the market for introducing competitiveness, as up until then Amazon had controlled around 90 per cent of the market.
"Apple took steps to compete with a monopolist and open the market to more entrants, generating only minor competitive restraints in the process,” he said.

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