Apple settles $840 million ebook price-fixing lawsuit

By on June 17, 2014, 10:00 AM
apple, lawsuit, united states, settlement, ebooks

Apple yesterday reached an out of court settlement with consumers and US states in an ebook price-fixing class action lawsuit. US District Judge in Manhattan Denise Cote asked the parties involved to submit a filing seeking approval of their settlement within 30 days, the details of which weren't disclosed.

The Cupertino-based company was originally accused of conspiring with some of the major publishers to increase ebook pricing in its iBookstore and competing services like Amazon back in 2012.

Attorney Steve Berman, who represented the plaintiffs, had demanded that Apple should pay either $840 million or triple the amount the company gained from the price hike. The trial was scheduled for July 14.

Earlier, the US government sued Apple and five of the biggest publishers, saying that the iPad maker pushed them to sign contracts that made their ebooks more expensive. The government also claimed that Apple, along with the publishers, used these contracts to force Amazon to change its pricing model.

In 2013, a federal court ruled in favor of plaintiffs after it found that Apple had in fact colluded with publishers. Although Apple appealed the ruling, the company did send out iTunes Store credits to the affected customers.

As it stands, Apple will continue its appeal of the ebooks antitrust case, and the eventual settlement payment will depend on the outcome of the appeal.

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