Apple settles e-book price-fixing case

[JURIST] Apple [corporate website] on Monday reached an out-of-court settlement with the US Department of Justice [official website], among other parties, regarding a class action lawsuit that accused the electronics company of illegally participating in a e-book price-fixing scheme. The company was found to have violated the Sherman Act [JURIST report] and various state statutes in July 2013. Apple is currently appealing this decision and the settlement is contingent on the appeal's outcome. The trial to determine damages was scheduled for July 14, where it was reported that complainants were to seek over $800 million in damages [Reuters report] for e-book customers. This settlement will allow Apple to avoid this trial. The parties were ordered to submit a filing within 30 days, seeking the court's approval of the settlement.

Apple has been defending itself in a lawsuit over anti-trust violations brought [Reuters report] by 33 state attorneys general and class action attorneys representing consumers from 16 states. In February the company filed a brief [JURIST report] with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit asking the court to either overturn a ruling that Apple violated anti-trust laws or grant a new trial in front of different judges. Earlier in February the Second Circuit court denied a motion [JURIST report] by Apple requesting a temporary hold on the duties of the court appointed external compliance officer Michael Bromwich. This ruling came a month after Apple sought to disqualify [JURIST report] Bromwich for exceeding his mandate. Bromwich was installed by Judge Cote of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in October. In addition to installing Bromwich, Cote had also entered an injunction [JURIST report] against Apple in September, preventing the company from future anti-trust violations in connection with e-book price fixing. The US Department of Justice initially accused Apple of working with major publishers to increase the price of their e-books.

 

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