“Apple Inc is rejecting charges that it conspired to fix prices of electronic books, calling the U.S. government’s antitrust lawsuit a ‘fundamentally flawed’ endeavor that could discourage competition and harm consumers,” Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters. “The Justice Department accused Apple in April of colluding with five publishers to boost e-book prices in early 2010, as the Silicon Valley giant was launching its popular iPad tablet. Amazon, which makes the Kindle e-reader, had long sold e-books for as little as $9.99. The government complaint quoted Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs as wanting to offer publishers a means to boost prices, and “create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.”

“In a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan late Tuesday, Apple said it has not conspired with anyone or fixed prices for e-books in an effort to thwart Amazon.com Inc’s dominance of that fast-growing market,” Stempel reports. “Apple argued that its foray into e-books has actually fueled demand for e-books by forcing Amazon and rivals, including Barnes & Noble Inc, to compete more aggressively, including by upgrading e-reader technology. ‘Apple’s entry into e-book distribution is classic pro competitive conduct’ that created competition where none existed, Apple said in its court papers.”

Stempel reports, “‘For Apple to be subject to hindsight legal attack for a business strategy well-recognized as perfectly proper sends the wrong message to the market,’ it added. ‘The government’s complaint against Apple is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law.’ Apple also denied that the government “accurately characterized” the comment attributed to Jobs.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote the day the DOJ filed their lawsuit, “The U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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