Another chapter in Apple’s legal e-book battle has ended today with some bad news for the company: It needs to pay $450 million to finally end that e-book antitrust lawsuit, as the US Supreme Court has rejected Apple’s appeal, reports Bloomberg.
As such, a previous ruling favouring the Justice Department and the states that sued Apple remains valid, and the company must comply with the settlement agreement reached with the involved parties in 2014.
This means Apple will need to pay $400 million to customers, $20 million to the states, and $30 million in legal fees. But don’t expect a pay cheque from Apple just yet: Consumers who overpaid for e-books will get credits which they can put towards future e-book purchases.
Before signing the Apple settlement, the states and consumers recovered a total of $166 million in separate accords with the publishers — Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group and the Macmillan unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH.
You may recall from earlier reports that Apple was found guilty of conspiring with five book publishers to raise e-book prices. Before the case went to court, the majority of book publishers reached a settlement with the plaintiffs, but Apple went forward and conducted this lengthy legal battle in court.