Apple will have to pay a $450 million settlement in the protracted e-books antitrust case, which saw the company found guilty of conspiring with publishers to inflate the prices of e-books back in 2014 (via Bloomberg).
In October, Apple submitted an appeal to overturn the guilty ruling, but today the United States Supreme Court declined to question the verdict, meaning Apple must now comply with that 2014 settlement.
Specifically, the amount will be broken down to have $400 million paid out to e-book customers, $20 million to the states, and $30 million in the form of legal fees. The case saw Apple fighting an accusation that in 2010 it colluded with five publishers -- HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin -- to fix the prices of e-books in order to become a dominant presence in a market overshadowed by companies like Amazon.
Apple has maintained its innocence throughout the initial trial and subsequent appeals, arguing that its deals helped introduce a healthy degree of competition to a market that had been bordering on a monopoly controlled by Amazon. A group of authors submitted an amicus brief supporting such a statement back in December.
At the Supreme Court, Apple argued that its actions enhanced competition by providing consumers with a new e-book platform. The company said overall e-book prices have fallen in the years since the introduction of iBookstore.
“Following Apple’s entry, output increased, overall prices decreased, and a major new retailer began to compete in a market formerly dominated by a single firm,” the company said in its appeal.
On the publisher side, the five in question have already signed a $166 million settlement deal with the states and consumers, which have trickled down to customers in the form of refunds.