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Judge refuses request to dismiss ebook class action suit

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Apple received a legal slap on Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Denise Cote rejected a request to dismiss a class action lawsuit against Apple and five publishers.

Cote scoffed at the idea that Apple and the publishers acted independently in coming up with what's known as agency pricing, their defense to the charges that they were price-fixing ebooks. Not only that, she accused Steve Jobs at being at the center of it all. Parts of the opinion, as excerpted by paidContent, reads:

In short, Apple did not try to earn money off of eBooks by competing with other retailers in an open market; rather, Apple 'accomplished this goal by [helping] the suppliers to collude, rather than to compete independently.'"

"Finally, the fact that Apple might have had different motivations for joining the conspiracy, and was involved in only a portion of it, does not undermine the existence of the conspiracy itself or Apple's role as a participant.

Cote also cites ongoing investigations against Apple, including the antitrust suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, as other reasons to maintain the class action suit, filed in August 2011.

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