U.S. District Judge Denise Cote this week granted class certification in an e-book suit against Apple. A group of consumers seeking more than $800 million in damages have sued Apple for conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices. Apple earlier contended that some plaintiffs were not harmed, or their claims were otherwise too different from each other. But Judge Cote ruled that the plaintiffs had “more than met their burden,” and allowed them to sue as a group, Reuters reported.
A trial is set to take place in either July or September, and could see Apple pay out millions. Publishers already agreed to settle charges before the trial, while Apple has already been found guilty of price fixing last July. Earlier this year, the Cupertino company was given a temporary reprieve from an external monitor meant to oversee its anti-trust compliance. Apple has filed a formal appeal against last year’s decision, which Reuters said could take months.
Reuters said thirty-three states and U.S. territories have sued on behalf of their consumers, while individual consumers in other states and territories filed their own class action lawsuit. In addition to Cote’s Friday ruling, the judge denied Apple’s request to exclude the opinions of the plaintiffs’ damages expert. Cote called the case a “paradigmatic antitrust class action.”