Apple narrowly avoids US$840m trial over e-book price-fixing claims

17 Jun 2014

Tech giant Apple has reached an out-of-court settlement with US authorities and consumers over alleged e-book price-fixing. In doing so it has narrowly avoided a trial in which it would have faced US$840m in claims.

Apple faced a trial set for next month in which it was alleged to have orchestrated an illegal scheme with publishers to raise e-book prices.

The US government sued Apple and five of the biggest publishers in America, alleging the Californian device maker forced them to sign agreements that would make e-books more expensive and provide Apple with a 30pc cut.

According to Bloomberg, the alleged agreement was used to force Amazon to change its pricing model.

A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered Apple and the plaintiffs to submit a filing seeking approval of their agreement within a month’s time.

In July 2013, Manhattan Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of working with the five publishers between 2009 and 2010 to fix e-book prices.

It is understood Apple intends to continue its appeal against Cote’s 2013 ruling.

Apple New York City image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years