The verdict, as both the government and the defendants had wanted, came swiftly. Barely three weeks after the lawyers fell silent, federal judge Denise Cote, delivered a crushing judgment against Apple, finding that it had conspired with book publishers to inflate the price of e-books when it launched the iPad in 2010.

"Apple was unable to persuade the court that the case was not a per se violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act – essentially that the facts of the case as the Department of Justice presented them were sufficient to establish conduct so clearly outside the law that the court condemns it without regard to motivating factors," Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. "In the final analysis, the case wasn’t even close."

The case will linger for some time yet – Apple will appeal, and if damages are ever paid, that day may come a long way off. Nevertheless, notes Albanese, “that could be like Christmas for publishers. If Apple pays big money to consumers in the form of e-book credits, as was mandated in the pre-trial publisher settlements, that is a chunk of Apple money that will flow into publishers’ hands, thank you very much."

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