Apple to Pay $450 Million E-Book Settlement After Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple will have to pay a $450 million settlement in the protracted e-books antitrust case, which saw the company found guilty of conspiring with publishers to inflate the prices of e-books back in 2014 (via Bloomberg).

In October, Apple submitted an appeal to overturn the guilty ruling, but today the United States Supreme Court declined to question the verdict, meaning Apple must now comply with that 2014 settlement.

Specifically, the amount will be broken down to have $400 million paid out to e-book customers, $20 million to the states, and $30 million in the form of legal fees. The case saw Apple fighting an accusation that in 2010 it colluded with five publishers -- HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin -- to fix the prices of e-books in order to become a dominant presence in a market overshadowed by companies like Amazon.

Apple has maintained its innocence throughout the initial trial and subsequent appeals, arguing that its deals helped introduce a healthy degree of competition to a market that had been bordering on a monopoly controlled by Amazon. A group of authors submitted an amicus brief supporting such a statement back in December.
At the Supreme Court, Apple argued that its actions enhanced competition by providing consumers with a new e-book platform. The company said overall e-book prices have fallen in the years since the introduction of iBookstore.

"Following Apple's entry, output increased, overall prices decreased, and a major new retailer began to compete in a market formerly dominated by a single firm," the company said in its appeal.
On the publisher side, the five in question have already signed a $166 million settlement deal with the states and consumers, which have trickled down to customers in the form of refunds.

Article Link: Apple to Pay $450 Million E-Book Settlement After Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal
 

kagharaht

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2007
900
390
So all this talk about Amazon being the real guilty party is all BS? Apple really did break the law here since the supreme court sees no problem with the e-Book antitrust case.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,820
27,275
So all this talk about Amazon being the real guilty party is all BS? Apple really did break the law here since the supreme court sees no problem with the e-Book antitrust case.
Maybe they declined this case because they know they'll be getting another one soon. The phone unlock case is definitely going to the Supreme Court.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,387
3,830
Too bad the Supreme Court didn't take this up. The DOJ used a ridiculous standard of antitrust that will now stand. They didn't even allege that Apple conspired to raise prices itself. I wonder if it might have turned out different if Scalia were still alive.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,292
378
Where are the candidates telling us how stupid this entire lawsuit was? Have any commented about it?
 

Art0fLife

macrumors member
May 31, 2014
88
19
Nothing like Apple trying to break Amazon's monopoly, only to have the government blame Apple for being anti-competitive...
That's all I got from this. Amazon has (and has had for a very long time) a monopoly on the market. Apple attempted to break it with the very ******, absolutely useless iBook system... Failed, but had every right to try. This feels more like Apple getting punished for fighting the government in other areas (that are definitely more important and I am sure Apple sees it the same). Amazon is the only one to look at if one wants to punish people who put a monopoly on ebooks or inflating prices (good grief they have went up extreme amounts over the years through Amazon and they do so more and more the tighter a grip Amazon is allowed to get here).

I just don't grasp how trying to break a monopoly by trying to introduce competition is a bad thing. I hate iBook, it's clunky and worse than useless but they had every right to try.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,605
USA
This whole case resulted in nothing but a loss for consumers and Apple. Maybe Apple will realize that, when the government is concerned, they can no longer play by the book.
Actually - Apple's takeaway should be don't collude with publishers to enter a market. Instead, perhaps, decide on a different profit/margin strategy.

That's all I got from this. Amazon has (and has had for a very long time) a monopoly on the market. Apple attempted to break it with the very ******, absolutely useless iBook system... Failed, but had every right to try. This feels more like Apple getting punished for fighting the government in other areas (that are definitely more important and I am sure Apple sees it the same). Amazon is the only one to look at if one wants to punish people who put a monopoly on ebooks or inflating prices (good grief they have went up extreme amounts over the years through Amazon and they do so more and more the tighter a grip Amazon is allowed to get here).

I just don't grasp how trying to break a monopoly by trying to introduce competition is a bad thing. I hate iBook, it's clunky and worse than useless but they had every right to try.
What's your definition of Monopoly? And if Apple wanted to disrupt Amazon - they could have done it in other (legal) ways. They chose one method. It didn't work.

It's a tired argument to say that they will decide to start gouging customers on price. Because they moment they do that, other companies will come in and grab their marketshare with lower prices. Overall, Amazon has kept pricing low or in line.
 

bsolar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
919
562
I just don't grasp how trying to break a monopoly by trying to introduce competition is a bad thing. I hate iBook, it's clunky and worse than useless but they had every right to try.
It's not a bad thing as long as you try to do it through legal means. If you try to do it through illegal means you can still end up in trouble since "the end justifies the means" doesn't always work as justification and in this case it didn't.
 

kcamfork

Suspended
Oct 7, 2011
258
247
Is everybody on here daft? Amazon innovated the ebook market with the kindle. That's why they pretty much owned it. Apple knew they couldn't compete on price, so they broke the antitrust laws, which are put in place to protect consumers. They knew this was wrong and did it anyway. Prices were raised. I ended up paying more because of it, millions of Americans did too.

Apple should have to pay this fine. It's pretty damn clear they were in the wrong.

The Apple apologists on this site are sometimes just frustratingly baffling.
 

macfacts

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2012
3,824
4,547
Cybertron
Nothing like Apple trying to break Amazon's monopoly, only to have the government blame Apple for being anti-competitive...
How does Amazon have a monopoly? Publishers are free to set what ever price they want to sell to Amazon (and Amazon is free to set what price they want to sell to readers). Publishers can sell where ever they want.

Apple wanted all books to be same price across all platforms and all stores (Apple can't compete on price so they wanted to force it with an illegal contract), and got a large group of different publishers together at the same time to discus this (illegal).

Edit: and just having a monopoly isn't illegal.
 

orbital~debris

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
944
1,198
UK, Europe
Out of interest, where's that iBooks icon (as used in the MR post) from?
Was it some kind of pre-release version used in a beta (the current version has curved page edges)?
 
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