Back in June 2014, Apple settled a case with the US Department of Justice, where it was alleged that Apple had conspired with several book publishers to increase the price of e-books that were sold on its iBooks Store.
The scheme involved the publishers setting the prices, rather than the retailers - this allowed Apple to gain a foothold in the e-book market that previously only had Amazon as a major player.
As part of the settlement Apple was told to pay $450 million. Since then it has tried to appeal the settlement; however, Apple's appeal has been rejected by the US Supreme Court, so once again, Apple has been told to pay $450 million, except this time, it is final.
The amount Apple has to pay is made up of:
- $400 million to be paid back to consumers
- $20 million to various US States who sued originally
- $30 million in legal fees
The Department of Justice has said that consumers who were subject to the overpayments will receive credits that can be spent on future e-book purchases.
Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, part of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, said:
Apple’s liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all
During the US Supreme Court ruling, Apple defended itself by claiming that it was 'enhancing competition by providing consumers with a new e-book platform', adding that overall e-book prices have fallen since the iBooks Store was launched.