Apple Might Pay Consumers Up To $400 Million In Ebook Antitrust Case

I just received an email regarding the class action lawsuit against Apple for violating anti-trust laws. This means, in the near future, me and others affected by Apple’s nefarious ebook pricing strategy might get a few bucks as compensation. Yay! The email said, in part:

Records indicate that you could be affected by two lawsuits against Apple Inc. (“Apple”) about the price of electronic books (“E-books”). The Court ordered this notice and decided that these cases should proceed on behalf of two groups of people that could include you. The case is scheduled to go to trial to determine if Apple must pay any money.

What the Apple Settlement Provides

The Apple Settlement provides for three possible outcomes, depending on the decision of an appeal of the Court’s July 10, 2013 finding that Apple violated the antitrust laws (“Liability Finding”). First, if the Court’s Liability Finding is upheld, Apple will pay $400 million to Eligible Consumers. Second, if the Liability Finding is sent back to the District Court for further consideration of whether Apple violated the antitrust laws, Apple will pay $50 million to Eligible Consumers. Third, if the Liability Finding is reversed, Apple will make no payments.

If Apple is required to pay Eligible Consumers under either of the first two options and if the Court approves the Apple Settlement, you will receive a credit to your iTunes account that may need to be activated. The amount of your payment, if any, will be determined based on the qualifying E-book purchases identified by Apple in your iTunes account.

The email goes on to give details about receiving benefits under the terms of the settlement and other legal jargon.

Background of Apple’s Antitrust Case

Basically, Apple and publishers met, in secret, to discuss ways to thwart Amazon’s low ebook price point. They came up with a scheme to force Amazon to sell most bestsellers at either $12.99 or $14.99.

After the plans became clear, an uproar ensued and  the Attorneys General from 16 states filed suit.

Three publishers decided to settle: Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster inc, and HarperCollins Publishers LLC.

You can read all the details of the case in this Wall Street Journal article.



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