1. Akshay Masand's Avatar

    US District Court Judge, Denise Cote, recently accepted Apple’s $450 million proposal to settle a class action lawsuit regarding eBook price fixing leveled by 33 states and territories. The Cupertino California company was previously waiting for Judge Cote’s ruling since July when all parties agreed to the $450 million sum as opposed to the $840 million payout the class initially aimed for. The settlement terms will see Apple pay out $400 to a class of consumers affected by the ordeal. It should be noted that the settlement is contingent on Apple’s appeal of a ruling by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York that found the company of being responsible for colluding with five major book publishers to falsely inflate eBook prices in the iBookstore.

    Depending on the outcome, consumers may only end up getting $50 million and lawyers $20 million, or potentially nothing at all if Apple goes back to trial and is found not guilty of breaking antitrust laws. During the recent hearing, Judge Cote referred to the agreement as an “unusually structured settlement, especially for one arrived at on the eve of trial.” That being said, the jurist did understand why plaintiffs agreed to the deal, citing Apple’s use of legal tactics meant to delay proceedings.

    For those of you who didn’t know or forgot, Apple was investigated than sued by the US Department of Justice for employing “agency model” pricing, which operates on a “most favored nations” basis which restricts content owners from selling the same product to another retailer at a lower price. This system countered eBook sector leader Amazon’s “wholesale model” that allows retailers to buy content in bulk and set resale prices at or below cost. After being found guilty of collusion, Judge Cote placed an injunction on Apple from entering into similar deals with content owners.

    Source: Reuters via AppleInsider

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2014-11-24 05:18 PM