Tech giant Apple Inc on Friday got green signal from a federal judge over an agreement for settling the payment of USD 450 million to resolve the claims it harmed millions of consumers by conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices and thwarting e-retailer Amazon’s efforts.
Apple has been charged for harming as many as 23 million consumers by violating antitrust law by conspiring with publishers to hike the prices of online books.
While hearing the case in Manhattan, US District Judge Denise Cote gave her nod to the agreement, terming it “a highly unusual accord”.
The Cupertino-based company reached the unusual settlement this summer under which it agreed to pay USD 400 million in cash and e-book credits to its consumers and USD 50 million to lawyers.
But these figures could change if the 2013 verdict in the antitrust case is overturned by an Appeals Court.
During the case hearing, Apple was accused of conspiring over fixation of e-books pricing with the five major publishers including Lagardere SCA’s (LAGA.PA) Hachette Book Group Inc, Penguin Group (USA) Inc, News Corp’s (NWSA.O) HarperCollins Publishers LLC, CBS Corp’s (CBS.N) Simon & Schuster Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan.
The federal appeals court, which is scheduled to hear Apple’s challenge on December 15, is unlikely to change its previous ruling.