Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to settle a civil class-action lawsuit claiming the company conspired with publishers to raise the price of ebooks to consumers. The settlement, which would provide $400 million for consumers, is contingent on the company's appeal of the original antitrust ruling.
"This settlement proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else", New York Attorney General Schneiderman said in a statement.
On the other hand, Apple has reiterated that it believes it did nothing wrong. "Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing, and we will continue to fight those allegations on appeal. We did nothing wrong and we believe a fair assessment of the facts will show it", the Cupertino-based company said in a statement.
The news comes almost a month after the iPad-maker agreed to settle the case with US states, though the settlement amount wasn't disclosed at that time.
The total amount could come down to $70 million, with $50 million of that going back to consumers, in case the court of appeals reverses and remands the case back to district court. If Apple is ultimately determined not to be liable, it will not have to pay a single penny.
The original complaint was filed by the Department of Justice in April 2012, accusing Apple and five of the largest US book publishers of colluding to set ebooks prices and and working together to break Amazon's hold on the market.
While the accused publishers opted for a $166 million settlement, Apple didn't back down. In July last year, after a nonjury trial, US District Court Judge Denise Cote concluded that Apple negotiated separately with each publisher, and was at the center of the conspiracy. Apple is appealing that ruling.