Apple Inc. conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the evidence left no doubt that the computer maker broke antitrust laws.
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."
The Manhattan jurist added: "The evidence is overwhelming that Apple knew of the unlawful aims of the conspiracy and joined the conspiracy with the specific intent to help it succeed."
She said damages could be determined at a later point.
Apple attorney Orin Snyder had told Cote previously that she would set a "dangerous precedent" if she concluded that Apple manipulated e-book prices as it entered the market in 2010. He did not immediately respond to a message for comment Wednesday.
The lawsuit was filed last year against Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple and major publishers. The government previously reached settlements with five publishers.
The trial had featured testimony from executives for Apple, publishers and Amazon.com.