Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Apple E-Book Settlement Contingent on Losing Appeal

With trial set to begin before U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York next month, Apple has agreed to pay as much as $400 million to settle a lawsuit over accusations that it colluded with publishers to fix the price of e-books. Interestingly, the settlement avoids a second trial and depends on Apple losing an appeal of last year's ruling that it violated anti-trust laws over pricing. That ruling found Apple orchestrated a conspiracy with five publishers to artificially raise e-book prices. Apple has continued to deny that it engaged in any wrongdoing and will not have to pay if it prevails in its appeal, now in the Second Circuit in New York. If approved by the trial judge, the money would go to consumers and Apple will pay legal fees upon losing the appeal. Lawyers representing consumers and 33 states were requesting over $800 million in damages for those negatively impacted by the alleged higher prices for e-books. Publishers accused of colluding with Apple-- Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster already settled in a separate lawsuit. Reportedly, the settlement had previously been announced last month, but the details had not yet been released. See stories here-- and