Apple’s $450 Million E-Book Price Fixing Settlement Accepted By Court

According to recent reports, its was believed that United States District Judge Denise Cote had been expressing her concerns regarding certain elements of the settlement. Namely, she was worried about a clause that could have reduced the settlement to $70 million in damages if her finding was reversed in and appeals court.

Happy Attorney General

When details of the settlement were first released, the settlement was quickly applauded by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

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“This settlement proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else,” Schneiderman said. “In a major victory, our settlement has the potential to result in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) paying hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers to compensate them for paying unlawfully inflated E-book prices. We will continue to work with our colleagues in other states to ensure that all companies compete fairly with the knowledge that no one is above the law.”

The settlement was, of course, the result of Apple’s collusion with five separate publishers to raise prices on e-books and was a result of a class-action suit that represented consumers in 33 U.S. states.

Happy Apple?

But once again, if reversed on appeal Apple will only owe $50 million to consumers and $20 million to lawyers, something Cote called “most troubling.” But she seems to have changed her tune.

“The proposed settlement agreement is within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable, such that notice to the class is appropriate,” Cote said. “Preliminary approval is granted.”

Cote set a final fairness hearing for Nov. 21.