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Business

Apple loses price-fixing court battle over e-books

A US federal appeals court has ruled that Apple broke antitrust laws in a price-fixing scheme with book publishers when it launched its iBookstore in 2010. The tech giant has said it will appeal the decision.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York found Tuesday that the tech giant "orchestrated a conspiracy" among Simon and Schuster, Macmillan and other major publishers to raise digital book prices at the launch of its bookselling service.

Judge Debra Ann Livingston said that Apple had found an easy way to establish its new Internet on the market.

The decision clears the way for a $450-million (404-million-euro) settlement, but Apple protested the ruling, saying in a statement: "We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing next steps."

The ruling confirmed a lower court decision which found that Apple broke federal laws, but the issue has been running through the courts since April 2012, when the US Justice Department brought charges against Apple and five publishers.

Last year, Apple agreed to pay $450 million to settle consumer claims and government penalties in the case.

Under the settlement terms, if Apple's appeal had succeeded, it would have had to pay only $70 million.

bk/uhe (dpa, Reuters)

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