“A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday said Apple Inc. orchestrated a conspiracy with five publishers to increase e-book prices, in a victory for the U.S. Justice Department,” Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel report for Reuters. “By a 2-1 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge that the conspiracy violated federal antitrust law, and that the judge acted properly in imposing an injunction to prevent a recurrence.”

“The ruling will uphold not just Apple’s civil liability but also the terms of an injunction that limited its agreements with publishers,” Raymond and Stempel report. “The decision also means Apple will be required to pay $450 million as part of a related settlement with 33 attorneys general and lawyers for a class of consumers.”

“The Justice Department, which secured the ruling following a non-jury trial, said the scheme caused some e-book prices to rise to $12.99 or $14.99 from the $9.99 price charged by the dominant player in the market, Amazon.com Inc,” Raymond and Stempel report. “In a dissenting opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs said he would have reversed Cote’s 2013 ruling, finding that Apple’s behavior was pro-competitive in taking on a ‘monopolist,’ Amazon, which controlled 90 percent of the market. ‘Apple took steps to compete with a monopolist and open the market to more entrants, generating only minor competitive restraints in the process,’ Jacobs wrote.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Travesty of justice.

The U.S. DOJ, with the aid of a handful of judges, killed real competition in order to save the appearance of competition.

SEE ALSO:
In pretrial view, judge says leaning toward U.S. DOJ over Apple in e-books case – May 24, 2013
Lawyers have complained for years that Judge Denise Cote pre-judges cases before she enters the courtroom – August 14, 2013

George Priest: Apple should win its e-book appeal – December 15, 2014
Obama’s DOJ brings in its big guns to Apple e-book appeal – December 11, 2014
U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote says she’s troubled by Apple $450 million e-books settlement deal – July 24, 2014
U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote: Apple cannot escape U.S. states’ e-book antitrust cases – April 15, 2014
U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote: ‘Apple’s reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition’ – January 16, 2014
Judge Denise Cote denies Apple request block her friend as ‘antitrust compliance monitor’ – January 13, 2014
Antitrust monitor Bromwich rebuts Apple accusations of ‘unconstitutional’ investigation – December 31, 2013
Apple seeks to freeze its U.S. e-books ‘antitrust monitor’ – December 15, 2013
The persecution of Apple: Is the U.S. government’s ebook investigation out of control? – December 10, 2013
Apple’s Star Chamber: An abusive judge and her prosecutor friend besiege the tech maker – December 5, 2013
Apple takes aim not just at court-ordered e-books monitor, but also at U.S. District Judge Denise Cote herself – December 2, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: Judge Denise Cote assigns DOJ monitor in Apple ebook price-fixing case – October 17, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: Judge issues injunction against Apple in ebooks antitrust case; largely in line with what DOJ wanted – September 6, 2013
U.S.A. v. Apple: Judge Denise Cote says Apple needs third-party supervision after ‘blatant’ ebook price fixing – August 28, 2013