Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will have to wait almost a complete year before it can start defending itself in the e-book price fixing lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against it. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said a bench trial in the case will begin June 3, 2013, for Apple and two publishers who are fighting the antitrust charges.
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The Justice Department had sued Apple in April, saying it colluded with five publishers to raise e-book prices in early 2010. Macmillan and Penguin Group (NYSE:PSO) are still fighting, while HarperCollins (NASDAQ:NWSA), Simon & Schuster (NYSE:CBS), and Hachette Book Group settled.
According to the government, Apple offered publishers a means to boost e-book prices and “create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.” Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) had long sold e-books for as little as $9.99. Apple has denied the charge, adding that its entry into the market actually increased demand by forcing Amazon and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) to compete more aggressively and upgrade e-reader technology.