SCOTUS rejects APPLE’s appeal in E-Book price fixing case; APPLE to pay $400 Million in damages to consumers

SCOTUS rejects APPLE’s appeal in E-Book price fixing case; APPLE to pay $400 Million in damages to consumers

The Supreme Court of United States has refused to review an Appellate Court finding that Apple had conspired with book publishers to raise the prices of digital books, in violation of state and federal antitrust laws.

The Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari to the petition moved by Apple Inc. and thereby upheld the Appellate court finding. While the Liability Appeal was still pending before Appellate Court, the Apple Inc. entered into a class action settlement resolving claims for damages stemming from the Liability Finding brought on behalf of consumers of e-books.

The Appellate Court had observed that “If the Liability Finding is affirmed, the Settlement calls for Apple topay $400 million in damages to consumers, plus a total of $50 million in attorneys’ fees andcosts to the private plaintiffs and the states that brought suit as parens patriae.” The Appellate court subsequently upheld the Liability Finding and said that it will stand unless the Supreme Court grants Apple’s certiorari petition and rejects its judgment. Now the Apple Inc. will have to pay the above said amount to consumers and attorneys.

The District Court had remarked “Apple is liable here for facilitating and encouraging the Publisher Defendants' collective, illegal restraint of trade. Through their conspiracy they forced Amazon (and other resellers) to relinquish retail pricing authority and then they raised retail e-book prices. Those higher prices were not the result of regular market forces but of a scheme in which Apple was a full participant.”