Apple denies charges of conspiring with publishers to fix ebook prices

Apple alleges that the Department of Justice has misunderstood the conversations and statements between business executives.

New Statesman
Photograph: Getty Images.

Apple Inc. has denied the charges levelled by the US antitrust authorities that it was involved in price-fixing deal when it forayed into electronics book market in 2010 with the launch of the iPad.

Denying the allegations at the US federal court, the California tech giant was quoted by Financial Times as saying that the charges in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit filed last year gave a wrongful  understanding to its business operational practices.

The company said that the department has misunderstood conversations, statements between business executives.

It also informed the court that one of the key charges that the ebook prices have gone up after Apple forayed into the segment was misleading.

In the opening statement at the trial, Department of Justice lawyer Lawrence Buterman showed emails and phone call chains between Apple and publishing companies as proofs to demonstrate that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of ebooks.

Apple's lawyer Orin Snyder, however, said that  the firm did not conspire with publishers to increase prices and infact should be appreciated for widening the market.

The company also said that it only wanted to ensure that the books at its store matched the lowest prices available in the market.

 In April 2012, the government sued Apple and five publishers  - Macmillan, Simon & Schuster,  Hachette Book Group, Penguin and HarperCollins.

The technology company is the last defendant in this lawsuit  as all the five publishers settled the case for a total of approximately $164m.