WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Apple Inc. and left in place a ruling that the company conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices when it sought to challenge Amazon.com's dominance of the market.

The justices' order on Monday lets stand an appeals court ruling that found Cupertino, California-based Apple violated antitrust laws in 2010.

Apple wanted to raise prices to wrest some book sales away from Amazon, which controlled 90 per cent of the market and sold most popular books online for $9.99. Amazon's share of the market dropped to 60 per cent.

The 2-1 ruling by the New York-based appeals court sustained a trial judge's finding that Apple orchestrated an illegal conspiracy to raise prices. A dissenting judge called Apple's actions legal, "gloves-off competition."