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Apple’s latest setback won’t bring e-book prices down

A U.S. District Court ruling against Apple today is not quite the end of the Department of Justice's e-book price-fixing suit against the tech giant and six of the largest book publishers in the country, but it's pretty close. Apple will certainly appeal, but most observers feel that there's little chance that it'll win. The five all settled before the ruling.

Judge Denise Cote affirmed that Apple "and five book publishing companies conspired to raise, fix, and stabilize the retail price for newly released and bestselling trade e-books" in 2010. On what is perhaps the most contested aspect of the case, Cote declined to say whether she thought Amazon had been "engaging in illegal, monopolistic practices" by selling most e-books at a loss in 2010. That, she insisted, was irrelevant, because "the remedy for illegal conduct is a complaint lodged with the proper law enforcement offices or a civil suit or both." Suspicion that the intent of Amazon's e-book pricing strategy was predatory or monopolistic, she wrote, does not constitute "a defense to the claims litigated at this trial."

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