Apple Pays Damages to EBook Users

Various information have sprung out concerning the out of the court arrangement between Apple and thirty-three US states that accused the giant electronics company for having hiked the prices required for its eBooks.

The USA prosecutors have declared that Apple has to pay 400 million US dollars to its eBook customers as well as the sum of 50 million US dollars to the lawyers.

The settlement will enter into force only if the New York based second US Circuit Court of Appeals rejects the company’s appeal, which for the time being is in a pending state. The Court in New York might decide to reduce the sum to 70 million US dollars with 50 million US dollars going to affected clients or in the worst scenarios for the plaintiffs might even decide to cut it out completely.

Apple was accused of having taken part into a conspiracy whose purpose was to trick buyers and raise the prices of eBooks. The company appeared in court for the first time in 2013. All the thirty-three plaintiffs states are making use of the decision taken by the federal court in order to determine the computer company to accept an out of the court settlement.

Schneiderman, the Attorney General for the State of New York said that the settlement proves that even the most important and powerful businesses had to respect the rules and the laws. He also said that in case of victory, Apple would have to pay millions of US dollars to its buyers so as to compensate for the unlawful prices of the Apple eBooks. Schneiderman assured the citizens that he and his team would keep on working with their colleagues in other US state to make sure that all businesses play by the rules.

Apple decided to go for a settlement in the month of June but kept secret the entire affair. The Cupertino expects the outcome of its final appeal before making any deal an official matter. The thirty-three plaintiff states asked for 840 million US dollars to be paid as damages.

The entire lawsuit was based on the deals that the electronics company had closed with five important publishers. Through these deals the publishers agreed to sell titles only by means of the iBooks software, while Apple was supposed to get about thirty per cent out of each and single sale.

The complainants accused both Apple and the publishing houses for having colluded in order to establish very high prices for eBooks in order to get their profits. It is assumed that the entire scheme was designed and put at work when Amazon was selling very cheap eBooks. The court considered that these actions had violated the price-fixing policies.

In a 2013 settlement done with the Department of Justice, the electronics company accepted to take various actions in order to straighten up the entire situation. It even agreed to erase the pricing contracts which had been signed with the publishing houses.  All the publishers involved in the case have already signed separate settlements and thus they have left Apple to appear all alone in court.