Judge accepts Apple's $450 million settlement over e-book issue
24 November 2014
In a huge relief for Apple a judge had at last accepted the $450 million settlement for the e-book issue, www.thenextdigit.com reported. Judge Cote, while agreeing to the e-book settlement appeal, however, said the settlement was somewhat confusing as the number of individuals who had suffered the ill fate was huge.
Under the primary settlement, Apple Inc would pay out approximately $400 to every individual who had been cheated contextually.
The state attorneys on their part appealed for an $840 million payout to all the individuals. The struggle continued for long with both parties accepting a $450 million settlement. Apple had been waiting since July for the court to approve the settlement. Furthermore, Apple's appeal of breaking the anti-trust laws was also due the final judgement. Under the circumstances, if Apple Inc was found guilty of conspiring with the 5 publishers and inflated the prices of e-book at the iStore, Apple would have paid only just $50 million to the users and $20 million to the lawyers.
Apple was on the wrong foot as a US District Court had already banned the iPhone maker from getting into any deals with publishers to avoid such circumstances in the future.
Judge Cote of the US District Court in Manhattan called the settlement "fair and reasonable." The settlement would see consumers who bought certain books between 2010 and 2012, compensated to the amount of $400 million as also $50 million in attorneys' fees, www.computerworld.com reported.
Although the settlement was final, Apple had to pay that amount only in case it lost its appeal of a 2013 price-fixing ruling. If the appeal was successful, Apple would pay only $50 million to e-book purchasers and $20 million to attorneys.
A hearing on the appeal was scheduled for 15 December in Manhattan and according to lawyers, the e-book buyers had said they "strongly believe" that Apple's appeal would not be successful.
Apple was found guilty last year of conspiring with five big publishers to jack up prices for electronically downloaded books. Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, the other publishers involved in the matter, had already settled the charges against them for $166 million.
In case Apple's appeal was not successful, there would be $566 million in total to divide among the affected consumers who bought certain books from the five publishers between April 2010 and May 2012.