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Texas Wins Antitrust Case Against Apple Over E-Book Price Fixing

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

The State of Texas has won an antitrust case against Apple.

On Wednesday, a federal court found that Apple Inc. unlawfully conspired with major U.S. publishers to raise the prices of electronic books.

The court’s ruling, issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, found that Apple’s role in the price-fixing scheme violated antitrust laws.

The trial did not address monetary damages, which will be the subject of a future court proceeding.

According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office, the court found that Apple “played a central role in facilitating and executing” the conspiracy to raise E-book prices, and that “Apple’s orchestration” of the conspiracy was necessary to its success.

Customers nationwide received $166 million in compensation from the previous settlements of the five publishers involved. Those publishers are Hachette Book Group Inc; HarperCollins Publishers LLC; Simon & Schuster Inc; Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC doing business as Macmillan; and Penguin Group Inc.

The litigation included a group of 33 states led by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlements come from a two-year investigation conducted by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

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