US Supreme Court affirms ruling in Apple e-books case

GMT 15:35 2016 Monday ,07 March

Arab Today, arab today US Supreme Court affirms ruling in Apple e-books case

The case in the US stems from a complaint filed on behalf of consumers
Washington - AFP

The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld a ruling that Apple was part of a price-fixing conspiracy for electronic books, clearing the way for a $450 million settlement to be paid.

The top court declined without comment to hear an appeal from Apple, which lets stand a 2013 ruling by a New York federal judge.

Apple had tentatively agreed to pay out $450 million to compensate consumers harmed by the price-fixing, while at the same time pursuing its appeal.

In July 2013, US District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple was liable for conspiring with five book publishers to fix e-book prices.

The case stems from a complaint filed on behalf of consumers, accusing Apple of working with five top publishers in 2009-2010 to set the prices of electronic books in an Apple-led effort to break rival Amazon's dominance of the market.

Prior to Apple's entry into e-books, the publishers -- all of whom reached separate settlements in the case -- complained about Amazon's $9.99 price for most titles.

Apple and the publishers agreed on contracts that let publishers set the price of most bestsellers at $12.99 or $14.99, but Apple won a provision that allowed it to match the prices of Amazon or any other retailer.

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook had said ahead of the trial that the California firm would not settle, claiming it had done nothing wrong but was merely pursuing normal business practices.

The trial focused on a six-week period in late 2009 and early 2010 during which Apple negotiated contracts with publishers ahead of its iPad launch and proposed a new and more profitable business model.


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