Judge says court will likely find Apple guilty in e-book price fixing case


By now, most of you have likely heard that Apple will be going to trial with the U.S. Justice Department next month. The iPad-maker is set to defend itself against charges that it conspired with book publishers to raise e-book prices.

According to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, it doesn’t look good. In a rather unusual pretrial move, the presiding Judge offered up her tentative view on the case. And she thinks it’s likely that the court will find Apple guilty…

Reuters reports:

“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.”

Cote, who will be overseeing the case, expressed her views during a pretrial hearing yesterday. And while she was quick to point out that she had only looked through some of the evidence, her comments could put pressure on Apple to settle.

The antitrust lawsuit, which the DoJ filed in a New York District court last April, originally included Apple and 5 publishers: Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. But all of the publishers have taken deals.

Obviously, Apple disagrees with Cote’s remarks. A lawyer for the company, Orin Snyder, said in a statement, “We strongly disagree with the court’s preliminary statements about the case today.” The Justice Department declined to comment.

The trial is set to kickoff June 3rd, and will not feature a jury.