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Apple Loses e-Book Trial

NEW YORK ( TheStreet)-- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) shares fell 0.38% to $420.73 on Wednesday, as the company was found guilty of colluding to artificially boost the prices of e-books.

Apple, which entered the e-book space back in 2010, was found guilty of working with five U.S. publishers to allow price markups that would take pricing power away from Amazon (AMZN). The markups would only be applied to best sellers and new releases.

In a statement provided to AllThingsD, Apple said it would appeal the decision. "Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing and we will continue to fight against these false accusations. When we introduced the iBookstore in 2010, we gave customers more choice, injecting much needed innovation and competition into the market, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. We've done nothing wrong and we will appeal the judge's decision," Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said.

The publishers involved in the trial are now facing settlements with the Justice Department, along with a separate trial by a group of state attorneys general.

The three-week trial ended on June 20th in a Federal Court in Manhattan. The case featured testimony from top executives at the publishers and Amazon, as well as Eddy Cue, a senior Apple executive who worked closely with the late Steve Jobs, the company's former CEO and co-founder.

Apple will now endure a separate trial on damages brought by 33 state attorneys general, as the company was found liable for violating U.S. antitrust laws. The trial will hope to reimburse consumers with money they lost paying for higher e-book prices.

Last year, Apple settled a similar antitrust case with the European Commission over e-book pricing but didn't admit any wrongdoing.

-- Written by David Webster in New York

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