Apple makes good on vow, appeals e-book price-fix ruling

Apple makes good on vow, appeals e-book price-fix ruling

Simon & Schuster, one of five publishers that settled out of court earlier, also appeals to the Second Circuit

Apple yesterday appealed a decision by a federal judge who ruled the Cupertino, Calif. company must be monitored by a watchdog for two years after conspiring to fix e-book prices.

In July, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of violating antitrust laws by plotting with major publishers to set industry-wide prices.

The verdict resulted in an injunction that prohibited Apple from disclosing deals it struck with one e-book publisher to others -- a way to prevent it from again colluding on prices -- and required that its behavior be overseen by an on-site compliance officer for 24 months. Cote will decide on what damages Apple must pay in early 2014.

Previously, Apple had vowed to appeal Cote's ruling.

"Apple also hereby appeals from any and all orders and rulings that were adverse to it, whether or not subsumed within the September 6, 2013 Final Judgment, including -- without limitation -- this Court's July 10, 2013 Opinion & Order as well as other rulings on liability, admissibility of evidence, and certain discovery requests," the company's lawyers said in a notice of appeal filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

Appeals in that district are handled by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is located in New York City.

The case began in 2012 when the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Apple and five major U.S. book publishers of conspiring to raise e-book prices two years earlier, part of an effort to stymie from selling bestselling electronic books for just $9.99.

Although the publishers -- Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster -- settled out of court before the trial began in June, Simon & Schuster also filed a notice of appeal today.

The DOJ was not available for comment, since its offices have been closed as part of the federal government shutdown.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is

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