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Apple Gains Approval for $450 Million E-Book Settlement

by Killian Bell | August 3, 2014August 3, 2014 12:00 pm PST

iPhone 5s - iPad - iBooks

Apple’s $450 million e-book settlement was on Friday granted preliminary approval by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan. The decision comes just one week after Judge Cote expressed concerns over the settlement’s terms, which state Apple has to pay only $70 million if litigation is dragged out.

In July 2013, Judge Cote found Apple guilty of conspiring with five book publishers to raise the price of e-books sold through its iBookstore in an antitrust case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Apple has been appealing the ruling, but back in June of this year, the Cupertino company agreed to settle a related class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers and 33 U.S. states.

Now a settlement of $450 million — $400 million of which will go to consumers while the other $50 million will go to lawyers — has been given preliminary approval. If the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturns Judge Cote’s ruling and sends the case back down for reevaluation, however, Apple will pay just $70 million — $50 million to consumers and $20 million to lawyers.

If Apple ultimately wins its appeal, it will pay nothing.

Back in July, Judge Cote described a reevaluation as the “most troubling” scenario, but in Friday’s ruling, she said that the consumers and states involved find the possibility highly unlikely. A final fairness hearing is now set for November 21, Reuters reports.


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...