Apple Willing To Stand Trial On E-Book Price-Fixing Allegations

Even though three of the publishers accused of colluding with Apple to fix prices on e-books have already settled with the Dept. of Justice, the electronics giant continues to assert its innocence and wants the opportunity to answer the charges in court.

The government alleges that when Apple entered the e-book market in anticipation of the launch of the iPad, it colluded with a handful of major publishers to make “agency pricing” — wherein the publisher, and not the seller, determines the retail cost of a title — the standard. This meant that the bigger e-book sellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble could end up selling e-books for a higher price than paperback editions of the same title.

Apple, along with the two publishers still involved in the DOJ complaint — Macmillan and the Penguin Group — had their first day in court today and told the judge that they are not afraid of a trial.

“Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits,” the Apple lawyer said. “We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.”

The next hearing is set for June 22.

Apple wants trial in e-book price-fixing case [Chicago Tribune]