“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.
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