Apple e-book price-fix trial starts
June 4, 2013
A landmark antitrust trial pitting Apple and a coalition of major publishers against the U.S. Justice Department for alleged price-fixing of e-books is under way in New York. [Los Angeles Times]
Amid accusations that the alleged conspiracy cost consumers “hundred of millions of dollars,” the trial seeks to determine if a 50 percent hike in online book prices which occurred along with the launch of its e-book enterprise in 2010 was part of a price-fixing scheme.
Justice Department lawyer Lawrence Buterman said in his opening statement, “This dramatic price increase was no accident. Apple knowingly and actively participated in a scheme to raise e-book prices.”
Defense attorneys said Apple was only bringing “innovation” to the emerging e-book industry, and did not participate in a conspiracy.
The five publishers reportedly engaged with Apple have all reached settlements with the government.