Apple iBook Price Fixing

Apple Appealing E-Book Price-Fixing Guilty Verict

Tech giant Apple says it will appeal today’s judgement that found the company guilty of e-book price-fixing.

Following the court’s decision, which could cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, spokesman Tom Neumayr quickly remarked:

“Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations… We’ve done nothing wrong.”

The guilty verdict states that Apple colluded with five of the largest book publishers in the world to push the average price of a best selling book from $9.99 on Amazon to $12.99 to $14.99 across all e-book publishing platforms.

While Apple claims it has done nothing wrong, all five book publishers named in the lawsuit settled with the Justice Department before trials even began.

In the lawsuit, the Department of Justice claims that all five publishers would never have met to push up the price for e-books if Apple didn’t bring them together during iBookstore negotiations.

Neumayr has not given any clues as to what grounds Apple might use to appeal the court’s decision.

Apple faces an uphill battle as emails from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs have directly suggested that e-book prices needed to be raised. In Apple’s emails, the pricing at Amazon for top-sellers was even called into account.

While Apple claims that it played no part in e-book price fixing, the industry after iBookstore was released did in fact see a shift of several dollars per book. In some cases, certain books doubled in price immediately following Apple’s entry into the e-book market.

With a greedy iBooks contract that debuted to boos from authors to the company’s aggressive tactics to keep prices marketed in its favor, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Apple will lose any appeal it chooses to file.

Do you think Apple e-book price-fixing actually happened, or did the markets pricing just shift overnight after the iBookstore debuted?

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