E-Book Conspiracy Cost Apple $400 Million




Apple will be paying  $400 million just to settle accusation that a price fixing conspiracy concerning how it set the prices of e books sold through its iTunes store.

The price will be approved by a court in New York as well as resolve claims for consumer damages and civil penalties.

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

Under the settlement, the amount that Apple must pay E-book consumers is contingent on what happens in Apple’s appeal of the court’s July 2013 finding that Apple violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to artificially raise E-book prices.

If the Court’s ruling is not affirmed, the settlement provides for a smaller recovery of $50 million if liability must be retried, or no recovery if Apple is determined not to have violated antitrust laws.

Any amount received by consumers pursuant to the settlement with Apple will be in addition to those amounts already recovered from several E-book publishers. E-book purchasers have already received compensation from $166 million in settlement funds paid by the five publishers involved in the conspiracy – Penguin; Macmillan; Hachette; HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

Many E-Book consumers received these funds through automatic credits sent by Amazon and other E-book retailers.