×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple Ebook Price-Fixing Appeal Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear Apple’s appeal of a ruling upholding a decision that it conspired with five book publishers to set retail prices of ebooks.

With the high court’s rejection, Apple must pay $450 million to settle antitrust litigation under the terms of a 2014 settlement. The publishers in the case were Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group USA and Simon & Schuster.

The Department of Justice in April 2012 sued Apple and the five publishers, alleging the companies conspired to control retail pricing of ebooks and that the actions substantially raised prices consumers paid for ebooks. The DOJ said the scheme resulted in Apple charging as much as $14.99 for titles available from Amazon.com for $9.99.

Under the settlement, Apple will pay $400 million to consumers affected by higher ebook pricing. Amazon said in a statement: “We are ready to distribute the court-mandated settlement funds to Kindle customers as soon as we’re instructed to move forward.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The case against Apple, which was consolidated with suits brought by 33 states and territories, went to trial in 2013. In July 2013, U.S. District Judge Denise Judge Cote found Apple liable for knowingly participating in and facilitating a conspiracy with the publishers. Last June the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the decision.

Popular on Variety

The DOJ reached settlements with three of the publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster – when it filed the suit in 2012, and subsequently settled with Penguin and Macmillan. Under the settlements, each publisher was required to terminate agreements that prevented e-book retailers from lowering the prices at which they sell e-books to consumers and to allow for retail price competition in renegotiated e-book distribution agreements.

In a separate case, Apple is fighting a federal judge’s order that it assist the FBI in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers. Apple argues that the order is unconstitutional, and the tech giant has received support from AT&T, Google, Facebook and others in opposing the U.S. government’s demands.

More Digital

  • Cenk Uygur

    Bernie Sanders Retracts Endorsement of Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur After Backlash

    Bernie Sanders pulled his support for Cenk Uygur’s congressional bid, with the Vermont independent in part acknowledging that Sanders’ supporters were “frustrated” about the endorsement. Sanders, who’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, cited Uygur’s announcement Friday that he would not be accepting any endorsements. In a statement, Sanders alluded to sexist and other [...]

  • Tana MongeauStreamy Awards, Arrivals, The Beverly

    Streamy Awards 2019: The Complete Winners List

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards — honoring the best from YouTube and online video — were held Friday night in Beverly Hills. Tana Mongeau (pictured above) was named Creator of the Year and Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning” won Show of the Year in the two fan-voted Audience Choice categories. David Dobrik picked up [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • Facebook

    FTC May Stop Facebook From Integrating Whatsapp, Instagram

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing whether it should seek an injunction against Facebook to prevent the social media giant from integrating services like Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram with its core app, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Regulators fear that Facebook’s app integration plans could make [...]

  • Ivanka Trump

    Ivanka Trump Reportedly Set to Speak at CES 2020

    Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and an adviser to the president, is scheduled to appear on a panel at CES 2020 in January, according to a published report. Ivanka Trump will appear on a panel set for Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas confab with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content