Apple has made a milestone of settlement with 33 states over electronic book price fixing that could be categorized the tech huge paying out as much as $400 million.
Those who do not trust suit stems by Apple’s role in combining with five major book publishers to increase the prices of e-books to spoil a sales program launched by Amazon.com
Last year, a legal sided from the justice Department in an antitrust lawsuit filed against the company, and ordered Apple to modify publisher contracts to prevent price fixing and hire an outside monitor to review the company’s antitrust policies.
“This clearance proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else,” a statement by the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Class-action law firm Hagens Berman, which worked on the case of with the 33 states, address to the consumers who could get back as much as $566 million when factoring in last settlements with the five book publishers.
A statement said by the lead attorney Steve Berman is as “Apple and the publishing companies went to extraordinary lengths to fight the claims of consumers and the states”. “But at the end, we believe that this settlement is confirmation that the antitrust laws apply equally to all citizens.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, Apple lasts to deny wrongdoings. “Apple did not conspire to fix e-book pricing, and we will continue to fight those allegations on wrong on appeal,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said in a statement that “We did nothing wrong and we believe a fair assessment of the facts will show it.”
The settlement awaits the court approval. If the court make decision in opposite and remand the case back to district court, the agreement by the settlement calls for Apple to compensate consumers $50 million to resolve their damages claims. Also, the justice Department and states’ attorneys general would remain free to continue suing their claims for injunctive relief. So, if Apple is justified by the petitions court, the company says “no settlement will be paid.”
In December, a judge approved settlements from the five book publishers involved: Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin. Price fixing badly affected the book byers who started receiving payments off the settlements in March.