Apple has ended its civil class-action lawsuit over the price of e-books with a settlement that is worth an estimated $100-$300 million. Last year, a federal judge ruled that Apple broke antitrust laws by driving up the prices of e-books in cooperation with five major U.S. publishers. If Apple’s appeal of last year’s case is unsuccessful, the tech giant may be paying out millions to e-book customers. The terms of the settlement also cancel a damages trial set for July.
The settlement is still under seal and needs to be approved by the court. Last year, the five publishers that were colluding with Apple agreed to pay $160 million as part of a separate settlement related to the price of e-books.
Reimbursement for consumers is contingent on the appeal of the anti-trust case. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The plaintiffs had been seeking $840 million from Apple, claiming that the company overcharged consumers by $280 million for e-books and that it should have to pay three times that amount.”
Apple has continued to maintain that it has not broken any antitrust laws. Still, a monitor appointed by the judge oversees Apple’s e-book pricing reform. Consumers should expect to see credit added to their account as early as the end of this year.
Apple Caves in Ebooks Fight: What the Big Settlement Means for You, GigaOM, 6/17/14
Apple Settles Ebook Case, Agrees to Pay Consumers Over Price Fixing, GigaOM, 6/16/14