24 hours ago, a federal judge ruled that Apple conspired with five major publishers to raise the retail prices of ebooks.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote found “compelling evidence” that Apple violated federal antitrust law by playing a “central role” in a conspiracy with various publishers.
While Apple plans to appeal the decision, it seems likely that the ruling will stand. If so, the damages could be costly to Apple.
And the clear winner will be Amazon, Bloomberg reports.
“Amazon emerges as the winner from all of the activity related to e-book pricing,” Tom Forte, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, tells Bloomberg. “The company seems to be free to price the way it wants to, which, by Amazon’s standards, is aggressively to gain market share.”
A judge’s ruling that Apple violated U.S. antitrust laws by colluding to increase e-book prices gives retailers such as Amazon added flexibility to sell digital books more cheaply and gain market share. The decision may also lead to greater government oversight of the iPhone maker’s ability to control pricing in other markets, such as music and movies.
Apple still insists that it did nothing wrong and didn’t attempt to “fix prices.”