US Opens Trial by Blaming Apple for Driving Up E-Book Prices

A government lawyer has accused Apple of teaming with publishers in 2010 to drive up the prices of electronic books.

The Justice Department attorney, Lawrence Buterman, opened a New York trial by telling a judge Monday that Apple's scheme cost U.S. consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. He said a dramatic price increase was encouraged by Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs.

Buterman said the conspiracy was meant to end Amazon's $9.99 pricing plan for e-books.

The nonjury trial is expected to last several weeks.

Lawyers for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple say the allegations are based on "faulty assumptions and unfounded conclusions."

Five publishers named in the lawsuit have settled. The judge had urged Apple to do the same.

_ By The Associated Press