Apple claims ignorance in e-book price-fixing by its own publishers in appeal
Feb 26, 2014 11:47 AM EST
In an appeal to junk an anti-trust violation verdict filed with the US Court of Appeals in New York yesterday, Apple Inc said that it was not aware that its publishers had conspired to manipulate e-book prices. Bloomberg said that the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the tech giant for e-book price fixing, which sparked $840 million in state and consumer claims lodged against Apple. US District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan was said to have found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to limit competition in retail prices and increase prices on e-books.
The Cupertino, California-based company claimed in the appeal filing that the federal judge who issued the July 2013 decision based it on a flawed theory of liability. Apple said in the filing, "Apple had no knowledge that the publishers were engaged in a conspiracy in December 2009 or at any other point. It was not unlawful for Apple to take advantage of retail market discord by using lawful agency agreements to enter the market and compete with Amazon."
This February, Bloomberg said Apple lost its bid to stop a court order to install a compliance monitor to ensure that the company amends its competition measures while pursuing an appeal. Aside from declaring the tech company guilty of anti-trust violations, Cote also ruled that Apple is liable to the 33 states that had joined the Justice Department in its lawsuit, the news agency said.
Apple will also be facing a second phase of its anti-trust case before Cote's court later this year, Bloomberg said. Although the Justice Department had yet to demand monetary damages regarding the anti-trust violations, the 33 states who have joined the federal agency have asked the court to assess the damages incurred due to Apple's violations, which amounted to three times of $280 million.
Apple disclosed that it posted $12.9 billion in sales from e-books, music, movies and software and services in 2012, which accounts 8.2% of the company's overall revenue. In 2010, Apple introduced e-books to increase the appeal of one of its flagship products, the iPad tablet, Bloomberg said.