The verdict is in.... and Apple is guilty.
This morning, a federal judge ruled that the Cupertino, California-based tech behemoth did, indeed, conspire with five major publishers in order to raise the retail prices of e-books.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan found "compelling evidence" that Apple violated federal antitrust law by playing a "central role" in a conspiracy with the publishers to eliminate retail price competition and raise e-book prices.
All told, Apple's loss is a victory for the U.S. Department of Justice and the 33 U.S. states and territories that brought the civil antitrust case against the Mac maker.
"Apple chose to join forces with the publisher defendants to raise e-book prices and equipped them with the means to do so," Cote said in a 159-page decision. "Without Apple's orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did."
"This result is a victory for millions of consumers who choose to read books electronically," Bill Baer, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, subsequently stated. "This decision by the court is a critical step in undoing the harm caused by Apple's illegal actions."
Apple, we're told, plans to appeal.