Apple has reached an agreement with 33 states to pay as much as $400 million to consumers to settle the antitrust suit over e-book pricing. Including attorneys’ fees and payments to states, the company could pay a total of $450 million.
However, the payment could be reduced, or eliminated entirely, depending on the results of Apple’s ongoing appeal. While a federal judge ruled last year that the company violated antitrust laws and conspired with major publishers to fix e-book prices, Apple maintains that it did nothing wrong.
Here’s the company’s statement on today’s news:
Apple did not conspire to fix ebook pricing, and we will continue to fight those allegations on appeal. We did nothing wrong and we believe a fair assessment of the facts will show it. The iBooks Store has been good for consumers and the publishing industry as a whole, from well-known authors to first-time novelists. As we wait for the court to hear our appeal, we have agreed to a settlement which is contingent on the outcome of the appeal. If we are vindicated by the appeals court, no settlement will be paid.
Last year’s ruling also saw a number of restrictions set on Apple, including the appointment of an external monitor. The company settled the civil portion of the lawsuit last month, with terms undisclosed.
“This settlement proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else,” said New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in a press release about today’s news. “In a major victory, our settlement has the potential to result in Apple paying hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers to compensate them for paying unlawfully inflated E-book prices.”
[image via Flickr/Lydia Fizz]