Apple Settles Ebook Lawsuit, Contingent on Price-Fixing Appeal
Apple has settled an ebook civil-action suit out of court. The deal is contingent, however, on the outcome of an appeal to last July's pricing-fixing ebook suit.Apple, facing a July civil-action lawsuit over claims that it fixed the prices of ebooks, has reached an out-of-court settlement with consumers and the 33 U.S. states suing it on behalf of residents. The amount of the settlement is unknown. According to The Wall Street Journal, the plaintiffs were seeking $840 million—three times the $280 million that they said Apple overcharged consumers. Steve Berman, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg that all the consumers and involved U.S. attorneys had reached a settlement, and that he had filed a memorandum of understanding. The court filing is "under seal," however, preventing him from sharing details. A federal judge in Manhattan on June 16 gave all parties one month within which to submit a filing, seeking approval of their deal.
The settlement is, however, contingent on the outcome of an appeal Apple filed against a federal court's findings last July. That court found Apple—during a period of preparation ahead of the launch of the first iPad, and with it the iBookstore—guilty of colluding with the nation's largest book publishers to raise prices and wrest control of the ebook market from Amazon.com