Apple Could Owe $500 Million After Being Found Guilty in E-Book Antitrust Case

iBooksAfter being found guilty in federal court of conspiring to artificially inflate e-book prices, legal experts are estimating that Apple could owe as much as $500 million in damages.

GigaOm has shared a chart provided to the federal judge in the case by the Texas attorney general. It shows how much in damages the five publishers have been found liable and how much they have paid in settlements. The remainder -- after damages have been trebled for willful violations -- works out to roughly $500 million.

The chart shows that the publishers have paid out over $166 million so far. Earlier this month, a lawyer from Hagens Berman — the class action firm in the case — told my colleague Jeff Roberts that Apple would likely face a liability payment of harm to consumers times three, minus the $166 million already paid out by publishers. On Wednesday, Law360 reported (paywall) the same thing, calculating that if Apple loses its appeal it would face about $490 million in damages. I annotated the chart above with those figures.

settlement
Apple has indicated that it will appeal the guilty ruling and it's likely that it will be many months or even years before the case is resolved.

Top Rated Comments

A Hebrew Avatar
99 months ago
They deserve the fine.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
distemp Avatar
99 months ago
This sounds like 'rob the rich' since they have the money...

Nah. Apple was really trying to scam us all into paying higher prices. It wasn't an accident that ebook prices went from a generally standard $10 to whatever the hell the publishers wanted when the iPad came around.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dontazemebro Avatar
99 months ago
What, Apple over-inflating prices?

Can't be true.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmwade77 Avatar
99 months ago
What I don't get is why in the original case part of their defense didn't include pointing out the Amazon was illegally selling ebooks below cost as an anti-competitive move, and that their model put a stop to that, which is why prices went up.
Actually, it is not illegal to sell books below cost. It may or may not be a smart business move, but it's not illegal.

What is illegal however is selling something (in this case books) at a set price and telling the manufacturer (in this case the publishers) that they can't let anyone else sell it for a lower price. This is what Apple was doing and why they should definitely be considered guilty.

Many gas stations tried something similar about 10 years ago and were fined for it. Retailers have tried this before and didn't get away with it. Why should Apple be let off the hook?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pirg Avatar
99 months ago
No sweat, they'll use the 600 million Samsung owes them for stealing :p
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lazy Avatar
99 months ago
What I don't get is why in the original case part of their defense didn't include pointing out the Amazon was illegally selling ebooks below cost as an anti-competitive move, and that their model put a stop to that, which is why prices went up.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...