Apple to Pay $450 Million E-Book Settlement After Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal

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ibooks-iconApple 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.

Top Rated Comments

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55 months ago
Is everybody on here daft? Amazon innovated the ebook market with the kindle. That's why they pretty much owned it. Apple knew they couldn't compete on price, so they broke the antitrust laws, which are put in place to protect consumers. They knew this was wrong and did it anyway. Prices were raised. I ended up paying more because of it, millions of Americans did too.

Apple should have to pay this fine. It's pretty damn clear they were in the wrong.

The Apple apologists on this site are sometimes just frustratingly baffling.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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55 months ago
Hmmm, the price of e-books hasn't really dropped since they "caught" Apple conspiring to raise the prices.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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55 months ago
Nothing like Apple trying to break Amazon's monopoly, only to have the government blame Apple for being anti-competitive...
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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55 months ago
Too bad the Supreme Court didn't take this up. The DOJ used a ridiculous standard of antitrust that will now stand. They didn't even allege that Apple conspired to raise prices itself. I wonder if it might have turned out different if Scalia were still alive.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago
Apple should not have paid this fine.

Regardless of what the law may say, they were morally right in this matter, and Amazon were the culprits.

This is the same US government that wishes to trample on our freedom and snuff it out forever.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
55 months ago
I guess the court decided it was time to close this book.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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