Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs organized a scheme with publishing companies in 2010 to keep e-book prices higher than those offered by Amazon, the Justice Department claimed in court filings released Tuesday.
The documents state that Jobs emailed News Corp.'s James Murdoch in January 2010, advising him to "throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99," The Hill reported
Amazon was charging $9.99 for most e-books back then.
News Corp. subsidiaries include book publishers HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster. The Justice Department claims they were in on the fix with Apple. But federal authorities described Apple as the "ringmaster" behind the plan.
"Apple knew exactly what it was doing. Apple assured publisher defendants that it understood and would support their goal of raising retail e-book prices as part of defendants' grand agreement," the Justice Department writes in its court filing.
The case, which began last year, is scheduled to be tried in June. All the publishing companies involved have settled with the government, leaving Apple alone to contest the charges, according to The Hill.
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