September 18, 2014

Federal court rules against Apple, in favor of Nebraska, 32 other states

A federal court in New York has ruled that Apple conspired to fix e-book prices, ruling in favor of a lawsuit filed by thirty-three states, including Nebraska.

United States District Judge Denise Cote found Apple violated antitrust laws, playing a central role in a conspiracy to raise e-book prices.

“Nebraskans deserve to be treated fairly when purchasing products,” Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a written statement after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in the case. “Today’s ruling is a tremendous victory for Nebraska consumers.”

The civil antitrust trial began June 3rd after a two-year investigation. It ended on the 20th of June. Monetary damages will be addressed in a separate proceeding.

The Attorney General’s office says the court found Apple “played a central role in facilitating and executing” the conspiracy to raise E-book prices. In addition, “Apple’s orchestration” of the conspiracy was necessary to its success.

The five publishers reached a $166 million settlement with the states earlier. Those publishers were: Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan and Penguin Group (USA), Inc.