Apple doesn't plan on accepting Judge Denise Cote's ruling that it conspired to artificially raise ebook prices and plans to appeal. Judge Cote issued her ruling Wednesday morning in favor of the Department of Justice and their claims that Apple was the ring leader in a conspiracy with publishers to force retailers into higher book prices.
Apple: We'll appeal Judge Cotes antitrust ruling
Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr told AllThingsD,
Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations. When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. We've done nothing wrong and we will appeal the judge's decision.
The U.S. Department of Justice accused Apple and book publishers of colluding to push retailers out of the wholesale model where book sellers set their own book prices in favor of an agency model where publishers set book prices and retailers take a cut.
While Apple sees the ruling as a blow for the book market, the DOJ called it a win for consumers. Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer stated,
This result is a victory for millions of consumers who choose to read books electronically. Companies cannot ignore the antitrust laws when they believe it is in their economic self-interest to do so. This decision by the court is a critical step in undoing the harm caused by Apple's illegal actions.
The next step in the case is a trial for damages. Depending on the outcome of that, Apple could be facing damages that reach deep into the company's pockets. Assuming Apple wins a reversal in an appeal, however, the fines it could get hit with as damages will go away.
Since Apple hasn't had time to file its appeal documents there aren't any hearing dates set yet.