Apple settles e-book antitrust case with U.S. states, others

Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:42pm EDT
 
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By Supriya Kurane

(Reuters) - Apple Inc reached an out-of-court settlement with U.S. states and other complainants in an e-book price-fixing class action lawsuit, effectively avoiding a trial in which the iPad maker faced as much as $840 million in claims.

U.S. District Judge in Manhattan Denise Cote ordered the parties to submit a filing seeking approval of their settlement within 30 days.

The terms of the settlement, reached on Monday, have not been revealed. It still needs court approval.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple and five publishers in April 2012, accusing them of working together illegally to increase e-book prices.

Last July, Cote found Apple liable for colluding with the publishers to impede e-book competitors such as Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O after a non-jury trial in a case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nearly three dozen states and U.S. territories joined in the case against Apple on behalf of their consumers, while individual consumers in other states and territories filed a class action lawsuit.

The complainants are seeking up to $840 million in damages for e-book customers. A trial to determine the amount of damages was originally scheduled for July, but had been recently pushed back to August.

Apple is appealing Cote's decision, and Monday's settlement is contingent on the outcome of that appeal.   Continued...

 
The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith