Apple has long been embroiled in the e-books conspiracy case. The case also involves a number of e-books publishers with the charges being that Apple conspired with them to raise the prices of e-books. While most of the involved publishers have settled already, Apple didn’t do that and therefore has now been found guilty.
Amazon too had an interesting role in the entire scandal. The e-retail giant apparently was providing e-books at the lowest prices around the entire market, with many of them carrying a price tag of $9.99. However, the e-book publishers and Apple forced Amazon to adopt an alternate model where Amazon could no longer trim down the prices on its own.
For this, and artifically raising the prices of the e-books, a New York District Judge, Denise Cote, has ruled that Apple is indeed guilty. According to his ruling, “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 further mentioned in the ruling that, “Apple did not want to compete with Amazon (or any other e-book retailer) on price; and the Publisher Defendants wanted to end Amazon’s $9.99 pricing and increase significantly the prevailing price point for e-books. Apple decided to offer the Publisher Defendants the opportunity to move from a wholesale model — where a publisher receives its designated wholesale price for each e-book and the retailer sets the retail price — to an agency model, where a publisher sets the retail price and the retailer sells the e-book as its agent.”
However, now it is being hoped that this verdict will be followed with a trial to decide the damages that have to be levied on the company. However, we can expect Apple to launch an appeal against the verdict soon enough.