A divided federal appeals court on Tuesday said Apple Inc (AAPL.O) orchestrated a conspiracy with five publishers to increase e-book prices.

By a 2-1 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court judge that the conspiracy violated federal antitrust law, and that the judge acted properly in imposing an injunction to prevent a recurrence.

Writing for the majority, Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston said that by organizing the conspiracy, “Apple found an easy path to opening its iBookstore,” while ensuring that marketwide prices rose to a level that Apple and the publishers wanted.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)

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