A US federal appeals court has found that Apple must pay a $450m fine imposed for colluding with a collection of publishers over e-book pricing.
The fine was laid out in 2013, and the case dates back to 2010. Publishers including Penguin Hachette and HarperCollins were accused by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) of colluding with Apple.
The publishers accepted their lot in 2013, but Apple challenged the ruling at the time.
The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals found this week that the judge's ruling stands and that the agreement between Apple and the publishing companies violated antitrust rules.
Apple was caught illegally raising ebook prices. They assumed people who owned their products were already ok with paying more for no reason— Anne Victoria Clark (@annev6) June 30, 2015
V3 has asked Apple for a comment on the decision and is waiting for a response. The company told Reuters that is considering its options.
"While we want to put this behind us, the case is about principles and values," Apple said. "We know we did nothing wrong back in 2010 and are assessing the next steps."
The DoJ welcomed the finding of the court, saying that it is a vindication of its efforts and a win for consumers.
"We are gratified by the court's decision. The decision confirms that it is unlawful for a company to knowingly participate in a price-fixing conspiracy, whatever its specific role in the conspiracy or reason for joining it," said assistant attorney general Bill Baer, from the DoJ Antitrust Division.
"Because Apple and the defendant publishers sought to eliminate price competition in the sale of e-books, consumers were forced to pay higher prices for many e-book titles.
"I am proud of the outstanding work done by the trial team who initially established Apple's liability and by the lawyers who defended the district court's decision in this appeal.
"The Antitrust Division will continue to vigorously protect competition and enforce the antitrust laws in this important business, and in other industries that affect the everyday lives of consumers."
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