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US Supreme Court Denies To Hear Apple’s E-Books Price Fixing Appeal, Apple To Pay $450 Million As Part Of Settlement

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And things continue to go south for the Cupertino giant. The US Supreme Court released a decision on Monday regarding Apple’s appeal to a prior case which had concluded that the company had orchestrated a scheme to raise the prices for e-books stating that it won’t hear Apple’s appeal.

The high-profile case dates back to a 2012 lawsuit in which the Cupertino giant was alleged to have conspired with five publishers to increase e-book prices.

In fact, such was the solidness of the appeal against Apple, that the justices turned away Apple’s appeal without any comment. This means that the previous ruling by the US Justice Department and more than 30 states that sued the company still stands. Apple must pay $450 million to end the antitrust suit, the settlement the company had reached in 2014. $400 million of this money will go to e-book consumers, 20 million to the states and $30 million as legal fee.

Apple’s liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all,

said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, in-charge of the department’s antitrust division.

The Justice Department added that consumers who overpaid will get credits they can apply to future e-book purchases.

Apparently, publishers that conspired with the tech giant, according to the Justice Department include Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group Inc, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group Inc, CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan. The scheme, the Justice Department said, caused some e-book prices to increase to $12.99 or $14.99 from the $9.99 price previously charged by market leader Amazon.com Inc.

Last June, a Federal Court had also upheld the same settlement that the company had agreed to years ago. The company had previously described the ruling as a ‘radical departure’ from modern antitrust law. That said, the company still gifted iTunes credits to some of the users affected. The case has come a long way since then but the ruling still stands the same.

The case in question is Apple v. United States, US Supreme Court, No. 15-565.


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