Apple settles $840 million ebooks price-fixing claim

Payment depends on outcome of appeal

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Apple has agreed to settle out of court with consumers and US states that brought a damages claim against the company for conspiring to raise the price of ebooks. The terms of the settlement have not been made public. Attorney Steve Berman, who represented the plaintiffs, had argued that Apple should be forced to pay $840 million, or triple the amount he estimated the company gained from jacked-up ebook prices. The trial was set to go to court next month.

The lawsuit stemmed from the 2013 ruling against Apple in which US District Judge Denise Cote found Cupertino guilty of colluding with publishers to keep prices higher than the discounted Kindle ebooks Amazon wanted to offer. Apple will continue to appeal against this decision, and Berman notes in a letter to Cote that the eventual settlement payment will depend on the outcome of the appeal. In February, the company lost a bid to remove an antitrust compliance monitor tasked with keeping its ebook activities within the law.

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