“A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Apple had illegally conspired with five of the six biggest publishers to try to raise prices in the budding e-books market,” David Streitfeld reports for The New York Times. “The verdict in the Apple case might have been a foregone conclusion, telegraphed by the judge herself, but it emphatically underlined how the traditional players in the book business have been upended. ‘We’re at a moment when cultural power is passing to new gatekeepers,’ said Joe Esposito, a publishing consultant. ‘Heaven forbid that we should have the government telling our entrepreneurs what to do, but there is a social policy issue here. We don’t want the companies to become a black hole that absorbs all light except their own.'”

“he Apple case, which was brought by the Justice Department, will have little immediate impact on the selling of books. The publishers settled long ago, protesting they had done nothing wrong but saying they could not afford to fight the government. But it might be a long time before they try to take charge of their fate again in such a bold fashion. Drawing the attention of the government once was bad enough; twice could be a disaster,” Streitfeld reports. “‘The Department of Justice has unwittingly caused further consolidation in the industry at a time when consolidation is not necessarily a good thing,’ said Mark Coker, the chief executive of Smashwords, an e-book distributor. ‘If you want a vibrant ecosystem of multiple publishers, multiple publishing methods and multiple successful retailers in 5, 20 or 50 years, we took a step backwards this week.'”

Streitfeld reports, “Some in publishing suspected that Amazon had prompted the government to file its suit. The retailer has denied it, but it still emerged the big winner. While Apple will be punished — damages are yet to be decided — and the publishers were chastened, Amazon is left free to exert its dominance over e-books — even as it gains market share with physical books… ‘Amazon is not in most of the headlines, but all of the big events in the book world are about Amazon,’ said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. ‘If the publishers colluded, it was to blunt Amazon’s dominance… The Justice Department’s guns seem pointed in the wrong direction.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While appealing this witch hunt, Apple should go thermonuclear by unleashing a massive promotional campaign for iBookstore — found on every iOS device, of which over 600 million have been sold to date, and very soon to be appearing on tens of millions of Macs running OS X Mavericks — that shakes Amazon and its whiny little bitch Bezos to the core.

Related articles:
Where’s the proof that Apple conspired with publishers on ebook pricing? – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple ruling could allow U.S. government to monitor, interfere with future Apple negotiations – July 10, 2013
Judge Denise Cote likely wrote most of her U.S.A. v. Apple ebooks case decision before the trial – July 10, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: NY judge rules Apple colluded to fix ebook prices, led illegal conspiracy, violated U.S. antitrust laws – July 10, 2013