Apple could pay $400m in e-books settlement

Apple could pay $400m in e-books settlement

Apple could pay $400m (£262.7m) to US consumers to settle the e-book price fixing case, it was announced yesterday (16th July).

The figure for the settlement was announced by New York attorney general Eric T Schneiderman, who said: "This settlement proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else."

The settlement would resolve claims for consumer damages in New York and 32 other US states and territories. Apple could also pay $20m to resolve costs, fees and civil penalties.

However, the settlement is dependent on the result of Apple's appeal of the original case, which ruled that the company conspired with five publishers - Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Macmilan - to artificially raise e–book prices.

If Apple's appeal to the circuit court of appeals in New York is successful, Apple will have to pay nothing – if the case is retried, the settlement amount will be $50m.

Apple said in a statement: "We did nothing wrong and we believe a fair assessment of the facts will show it. The iBooks store has been good for consumers and the publishing industry as a whole, from well-known authors to first-time novelists. As we wait for the court to hear our appeal, we have agreed to a settlement which is contingent on the outcome of the appeal. If we are vindicated by the appeals court, no settlement will be paid."

The settlement comes on top of $166m already paid in settlement funds to the consumers by the five publishers.