US Judge suggests evidence that Apple took part in eBook pricing conspiracy

From Cellular News:  A US Federal Judge has stated that there is likely evidence that Apple had conspired to increase the price of eBooks.

Apple has previously refused offers from the US Department of Justice  (DOJ) to settle, as part of the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into the pricing of eBooks.

At a pre-trial hearing US District Judge Denise Cote said that she believes that the government:

“will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that.”

The DoJ alleges that Apple and five other publishers worked together to enter into contracts that eliminated price competition among bookstores selling e-books, substantially increasing prices paid by consumers.  It is alleged that the publishers and Apple believed that competition among eBook sellers had reduced eBook prices and the retail profit margins of the book sellers to levels they thought were too low.

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