Supreme Court rejects Apple appeal over electronic books

FILE - This Feb. 17, 2016 file photo shows an iPhone in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Apple Inc. Monday and left in place a ruling that the company conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices when it sought to challenge’s dominance of the market.

The justices’ order on Monday lets stand an appeals court ruling that found Cupertino, California-based Appleviolated antitrust laws in 2010.

Apple wanted to raise prices to wrest some book sales away from Amazon, which controlled 90 percent of the market and sold most popular books online for $9.99. Amazon’s share of the market dropped to 60 percent.

The 2-1 ruling by the New York-based appeals court sustained a trial judge’s finding that Apple orchestrated an illegal conspiracy to raise prices. A dissenting judge called Apple’s actions legal, “gloves-off competition.”

The Justice Department and 33 states and territories originally sued Apple and five publishers. The publishers all settled and signed consent decrees prohibiting them from restricting e-book retailers’ ability to set prices.

In settlements of lawsuits brought by individual states, Apple has agreed to pay $400 million to be distributed to consumers and $50 million for attorney fees and payments to states.

The case is Apple v. U.S., 15-565. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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