Apple is finally set to settle the ongoing digital book price-fixing lawsuit, that could result in paying up to £262.7 ($450) million in total for damages.
The announcement comes just ahead of the damages trial on August 25, in which US states and lawyers filing the lawsuit were expected to seek damages of up to £490 ($840) million from the iPad maker.
However, it is to be noted that the alleged settlement still requires US district judge approval. The settlement amount is conditioned on the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York Federal Judge’s ruling last year that concluded Apple had violated US antitrust laws by indulging into price collusion with 5 major electronic book publishers.
If the 2nd US Court of Appeals reverses and remands the case back to district court, then the Cupertino would be required to pay consumers $50 million to settle their claims, in addition to the $10 million to be paid to each of the states and class counsel. If the court overturns Apple’s federal conviction, the company would pay no damages at all.
The iPad maker has long been defending itself claiming that it is innocent and that it is ready to fight the allegations on appeal. The company in a statement denied accusations of any e-book pricing collusion and said that a fair assessment of the facts will prove that they have done nothing wrong.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said this settlement proves that even a big and powerful company like Apple must abide by the same rules as others.
Publishers Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have already settled the case with the government by paying out $166 million in damages.