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Apple settles e-books price fixing case for $400m

E-book consumers are set for a windfall
Thu Jul 17 2014, 10:36

NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL Eric Schneiderman has told Apple to pay consumers some $400m in reparations for e-book price fixing.

Apple was not alone when the case was filed, and was named along with several publishers. The publishers have already been fined, and accepted their fines, but Apple took its case to court. So far it has been losing, and stands to lose more, which explains why it settled.

"This settlement proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else," said Schneiderman.

"In a major victory, our settlement has the potential to result in Apple paying hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers to compensate them for paying unlawfully inflated e-book prices. We will continue to work with our colleagues in other states to ensure that all companies compete fairly with the knowledge that no one is above the law."

In a statement Apple denied allegations of price fixing. While it agreed to pay e-book consumers, it also hopes that the appeals court will agree with its arguments and plug its cash leak.

"Apple did not conspire to fix e-book 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 iBooks Store has been good for consumers and the publishing industry as a whole, from well-known authors to first-time novelists," Apple said in a statement.

"As we wait for the court to hear our appeal, we have agreed to a settlement which is contingent on the outcome of the appeal. If we are vindicated by the appeals court, no settlement will be paid."

Apple launched its appeal against the charges in 2013, and hinted at a settlement in June. µ


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