Apple is being asked by a US Judge to settle its case with the US Department of Justice over allegations of fixing prices on its e-book titles.
Reuters quoted US District Judge Denise Cote in saying that she believes the iBooks market operator will lose should it continue its case over allegations that it conspired to rig the price of e-book titles and prevent rivals from being able set their own retail prices.
"I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that," Cote said.
The statements could add to pressure on Apple to settle the case. The DOJ has already agreed to settlement deals with all of the publishers involved.
The suit is over the pricing policy Apple uses for its iBooks service. Much like the iTunes store and App Store services for iOS and OS X, the iBooks service allows publishers to set their own prices and pay Apple a portion of their revenues.
The DOJ has objected to the model, arguing that it allows Apple to collude with publishers to set their own prices and prevent retailers from being able to compete while setting their own prices in the market.