Apple Appeal in $450M Ebook Case Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court
The court chose not to hear Apple's appeal of a lower court ruling, which means the company must now pay the money to end the case.Apple must pay out about $450 million to U.S. consumers and states to settle claims that it illegally conspired with ebook publishers to raise ebook prices starting in 2010. The coming payout will now be made after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Apple's last appeal and declined to hear arguments in the antitrust case, according to a March 7 announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice. By declining to hear Apple's appeal, the high court allowed the previous lower court decision to stand, which found that "Apple orchestrated a price-fixing conspiracy with five major e-book publishers and substantially raised e-book prices," according to the statement. "Apple's liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all," Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, said in a statement. "And consumers will be made whole. The outstanding work of the Department of Justice team—working with our steadfast state attorney general partners—exposed this cynical misconduct by Apple and its book publisher co-conspirators and ensured that justice was done."
Apple will now have to pay out about $400 million to ebook buyers under an earlier July 2014 agreement to settle damages after actions were brought by the attorneys general of 33 states and territories and by a lawsuit filed by ebook buyers, according to the Justice Department. Another $20 million will go to the affected states, and $30 million will be for legal fees.