Apple files for appeal in e-book antitrust case

iBooks Bookshelf on iPad

Apple filed the necessary papers yesterday afternoon to appeal the the ‘guilty’ verdict from its e-book antitrust case last summer. The company told a federal appeals court in New York that the decision was a “radical departure” from modern antitrust law.

For those that missed it, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of colluding with major book publishers to manipulate the prices of e-books. As a result, the iPad-maker faces 100s of millions of dollars and fines and other repercussions…

Here’s the report from the Associated Press (via Yahoo):

“Apple filed papers on Tuesday telling a federal appeals court in New York that a judge’s finding it violated antitrust laws by manipulating electronic book prices “is a radical departure” from modern antitrust law that will “chill competition and harm consumers” if allowed to stand.

Apple’s papers filed Tuesday refuted the antitrust finding, and said its entrance into the e-book market “kick-started competition in a highly concentrated market, delivering higher output, lower price levels, and accelerated innovation.”

Apple filed its formal written arguments before the Second US Circuit of Appeals, asking that the court either overturn the original judgement in Apple’s favor, or grant them a new trial in front of a different judge. Apple maintains that it’s done nothing wrong.

And that stance might end up costing them in the long run. Before going to trial last summer, Tim Cook and company had the chance to settle the lawsuit with the US Department of Justice for much less than the fines it faces now. All 5 publishers chose to settle.

Here’s Tim Cook’s comment on the decision to decline settlement:

“We’ve done nothing wrong there, and so we’re taking a very principled position. We’re not going to sign something that says we did something we didn’t do. So we’re going to fight.”

After ruling Apple guilty, Judge Cote appointed Washington lawyer Michael Bromwich to monitor the company’s e-book business, saying she was concerned it wasn’t doing enough to avoid violating antitrust laws. Apple appealed that decision as well, but didn’t win.

Stay tuned, this thing is far from over.