Apple found guilty of e-book price fixing

A US federal judge has ruled that Apple conspired to raise the prices of e-books, and said a trial for damages will follow.

The US Department of Justice, which sued Apple originally, said that the company had colluded with five major publishers to move to an agency sales model where publishers set the prices of book, which usually results in higher prices for consumers.

As part of its deals with the publishers, Apple would receive a 30 per cent commission on each book sold, and the publishers had to match the price of Amazon or other competitors if the competitor's price was lower.

Apple argued that the tactics were similar to that used by many of its competitors, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google.

The publishers concerned all settled the matter outside of court, but Apple refused and went to trial.

Before the verdict, Apple warned that a guilty ruling would have a negative impact on how digital media deals are negotiated in the US.

Earlier today, Apple dropped its two-year lawsuit against Amazon for using the word "Appstore", which it had claimed infringed its rights for its "App Store". "We no longer see a need to pursue our case against Amazon," Apple said in a statement.