Apple 'could face $840m fine' on price-fixing

Apple 'could face $840m fine' on price-fixing

Apple could be fined up to $840m (£516m) for e-book price-fixing, it has been reported.

Publishers Weekly said lawyers for class plaintiffs against Apple last week filed a brief arguing the company should be assessed for damages between $231m (£142m) and $280m (£172m).

But the damage award could be tripled, putting the final figure between $693m (£425m) and $840m.

Publishers Weekly said: “The claim comes as the Summary Judgment phase of the class action case against Apple over e-book price-fixing kicked off—but with Apple’s liability already established after its federal antitrust trial last June, the current action will basically come down to expert witnesses seeking to establish a number to compensate for damages.”

The report also said: “In a brief supporting the Summary Judgment, lawyer Steve Berman argued that the Department of Justice’s June ‘trial “conclusively establishes that Apple and its confederates ‘deliberate[ly] interfere[d] with market forces,’” which “eliminated price competition at the retail level” producing “an industry-wide shift” in e-book prices.”

The case for a damages trial is set for May.