apple-store-londonThe court ruled that Apple has reached an agreement with publishing houses to raise prices artificially. Manhattan District Judge-Denise Cote has appointed a new hearing, in which the amount of damages will be determined by the actions of the participants of the cartel agreement. The judge also stated that Apple was involved in ‘a conspiracy to restrict free trade.’ Apple company spokesman Tom Neumayr declared: ‘We did not engage in a conspiracy to drive up prices and will continue to fight against these false accusations. We have not done anything wrong. ‘ The lawsuit against Apple and five major U.S. publishers – Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Publishers and HarperCollins, – was filed by the Ministry of Justice in the U.S. last year. Later publishers have agreed with the Ministry of Justice for settlement of the case. According to the judge, the publishers would not be able to raise prices for e-books without the help of Apple, which has entered into contracts with them in the spring of 2010, to support the launch of its first tablet iPad.