Apple denied Supreme Court appeal ending price-fixing case

Apple denied Supreme Court appeal ending price-fixing case

The Supreme Court in America is not going to take up Apple's appeal of the e-book price fixing ruling, effectively bringing to a close "one of the most contentious legal dramas in modern publishing history".

The outcome means Apple will have to pay $400m (£281.9m) in refunds to customers, along with $50m in fees and legal costs.

In July 2013, Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple conspired to raise the retail prices of e-books with publishers HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Macmillan, in a case brought by the US Department of Justice. Apple had denied it. Publishers settled their cases and paid $166m in settlement funds to consumers in 2014.

Publisher's Weekly said it expected the $400m (£281.63m) payout to customers from Apple to come "fairly quickly", as the Apple settlement is "basically using the same apparatus that was used to distribute $166m in settlement funds from publishers in 2014".  It added that the Supreme Court’s denial of the overturn of the appeal verdict ends “one of the most contentious legal dramas in modern publishing history”, dating back to the launch of the iPad in January 2010.

In a statement, assistant attorney general Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division highlighted that with the $166m previously paid by the publishers, Apple’s payment will mean that $566m (£398.51) will be repaid to consumers.

He added: "Apple’s liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all."