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The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has determined that Apple is indeed liable for conspiring with five publishers to fix e-book pricing. The company is expected to pay $450 million to settle, an amount that is less than three percent of the company's profit during the most recent holiday quarter.
Apple was found guilty in 2013 of serving as a ringleader of sorts to get book publishers to raise the price of their e-books in a scheme to break Amazon’s stronghold on the e-book market. Back in 2010 just before the iPad was released, Amazon was responsible for between 80 percent and 90 percent of all e-book sales.
Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster all settled their cases but Apple decided to pursue the matter further.
Apple maintains that it did nothing wrong. In a statement on the matter, the company said they did not conspire to fix e-book pricing and this ruling does nothing to change the facts. Apple said it was disappointed the Court didn’t recognize the innovation and choice the iBooks Store brought for consumers and while they want to put this behind them, the case is about principles and values.
The company said it was assessing its next steps which, according to The Wall Street Journal, could include asking the Second Circuit to rehear the case or asking the Supreme Court to review it.
Apple lost its appeal by a vote of 2-1. Judge Dennis Jacobs, the lone vote in favor of the appeal, said the 2013 case against Apple was viewed through the wrong legal lens.
Image courtesy Reuters