Apple's appeal rejected by US Supreme Court; told to pay $450m for inflating e-book prices

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.

Source: Bloomberg | Image: Cult of Mac

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