NEW YORK - Apple Inc. broke antitrust laws and conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices significantly in spring 2010, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, citing "compelling evidence" from the words of the late Steve Jobs. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said Apple knew that no publisher could risk acting alone to try to eliminate Amazon.com's $9.99 price for the most popular e-books so it "created a mechanism and environment that enabled them to act together in a matter of weeks to eliminate all retail price competition for their e-books."
"Apple seized the moment and brilliantly played its hand," Cote said. She wrote that Apple's deals with publishers caused some e-book prices to rise 50 percent or more virtually overnight. The Manhattan jurist said the evidence was "overwhelming that Apple knew of the unlawful aims of the conspiracy and joined the conspiracy with the specific intent to help it succeed."