The United States Justice Department recently filed documents in its case against Apple and book publishers accusing Apple of helping to facilitate the collusion that led to alleged fixing of eBook prices. Apple has denied the DoJ’s allegations in a new response, however, claiming that book publishers had already colluded to fix eBook prices before Apple even launched its iBook product.

According to Reuters, Apple argued in a court filing that publishers conspired to “eliminate discounts on wholesale book prices of e-books” and to “sell lucrative hardcover books first to bookstores” before Apple’s iBookstore even launched.

“Early — and constant — points of negotiation and contention were over Apple’s price caps and 30 percent commission,” Apple said in its filing. “After Apple sent draft agency agreements to each publisher CEO on January 11, each immediately opposed Apple’s price tiers and caps.”

The eBook price-fixing trial is set to begin on June 3rd with Apple as the sole defendant; Pearson, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster have all settled with the Justice Department out of court.