Apple Agrees to Pay $400 Million to Consumers to Settle E-Book Case



The bill for Apple’s e-book price-fixing scheme could increase to as much as $400 million, according to an agreement signed with the attorneys representing e-book purchasers.

The case was litigated by consumers from 19 states and four US territories represented by Hagens Berman attorneys working jointly with the attorneys general of 33 US states alleging that Apple’s e-book price hike was illegal.

Today’s agreement says Apple will pay consumers $400 million if the company’s appeal of a 2013 bench ruling which found Apple guilty of breaking federal antitrust laws is dismissed. Apple has appealed the ruling in the 2nd Circuit.

The agreement covers another scenario as well: The sum paid by Apple drops to $50 million if the Court of Appeals remands the case back to District Court.

“We have obviously studied Judge Cote’s July 2013 ruling in detail, and believe that the 2nd Circuit will agree with her conclusion that Apple did violate federal antitrust laws,” said Steve W. Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and lead attorney representing the consumer class. “In any case of this magnitude, there are high degrees of uncertainty, and Apple’s appeal of Judge Cote’s well-reasoned ruling is an example of that uncertainty.”

You may recall that Hagens Berman and the state attorneys general have already secured $166 million from the five publishing companies conspiring with Apple. The new settlement brings the total potential recovery for consumers up to $560 million, twice the amount of damages suffered by the class.