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Apple E-books Appeal on Price Fixing Ruling Declined by Supreme Court

Image: Apple E-books Appeal on Price Fixing Ruling Declined by Supreme Court
People make their way in and out of an Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York on Feb. 23, 2016. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 07 Mar 2016 03:28 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Apple’s appeal of a lower court ruling of e-book price fixing.

Apple will pay $450 million as a settlement in the antitrust case against it and five book publishers accused of conspiring to increase e-book prices, Reuters reported.

The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in June 2015 that Apple violated federal antitrust laws. The company argued that the ruling contradicted Supreme Court precedent and would "chill innovation and risk-taking," Reuters said.

“Apple’s liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a statement. “And consumers will be made whole. The outstanding work of the Department of Justice team – working with our steadfast state attorney general partners – exposed this cynical misconduct by Apple and its book publisher co-conspirators and ensured that justice was done.”

The publishers named in the lawsuit already have settled, paying a combined $166 million, NPR reported.

E-book purchasers will receive reimbursements for the higher prices, which they can apply to future purchases.

Publishers involved in the case were Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Hachette, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Apple argued that its 2010 entry into the e-book market dominated by Amazon increased competition, benefiting authors, e-book publishers, and retail consumers, The New York Times reported.

“If a new firm’s entry disrupts a monopoly and creates long-term competition, that is to be lauded, whether the previous prices were artificially high or artificially low,” Apple’s brief said.

Twitter users shared thoughts about the decision.





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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Apple's appeal of a lower court ruling of e-book price fixing.
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2016-28-07
Monday, 07 Mar 2016 03:28 PM
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