A federal appeal court Tuesday upheld a ruling charging Apple of illegally conspiring to inflate e-book prices to consumers, despite a vigorous legal battle from the company. The appeal is a win for the Justice Department which accused the gadget maker in 2012 of orchestrating an abusive e-book pricing policy with book publishers. Many of the associated publishers settled the case, but Apple dug in with an appeal. Apple has claimed the U.S. took too much liberty with antitrust rules to punish it. The company has waged a three-year and costly legal campaign to try to beat the charges, but the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Justice Department.