Apple to Pay $450 Million Settlement for E-Book Price Fixing

The Supreme Court has denied Apple from appealing an antitrust suit brought against the company for its role in an alleged e-book price-fixing scheme with five of the nation’s largest publishing companies, bringing a $450 million settlement to e-book purchasers.

With the Court’s denial to review findings against Apple, consumers will receive an additional $450 million, reaching a total amount of more than $560 million when combined with settlements with the publishing companies – more than twice the amount of losses suffered by the class of e-book purchasers. The law firm Hagens Berman litigated the case jointly with the United States Department of Justice and attorneys general from 33 U.S. states and territories.

“We’re incredibly pleased to culminate this case for the millions of consumers who were forced by Apple and the publishing companies to pay inflated prices – skyrocketing up to 50 percent – for e-books,” said Steve Berman, Managing Partner of Hagens Berman. “When we began this case in 2012, we knew that the defendants would fight us each step of the way, but with determination, we are proud to say we will be able to bring purchasers more than twice the amount of losses through this settlement.”

According to attorneys, the anticompetitive price-fixing collusion between Apple and the publishers caused the price of e-books to increase 30 to 50 percent to $12.99 or $14.99 from Amazon’s $9.99 price.

“Apple was caught red-handed orchestrating this scheme to inflate the prices of e-books, and we believe this case is a true testament to the tangible benefits the law can bring consumers,” Berman added.

The class of consumers alleged that Apple illegally colluded with a group of five publishing companies to manipulate the e-book market by artificially raising the price of e-books, lowering competition and charging consumers higher prices.

In the case’s next steps, attorneys will work to bring the settlement to consumers through a quick process and hope to return losses to purchasers by fall of 2016. According to attorneys, timing will be impacted by Apple’s position on objector right to appeal to the Supreme Court.