When it comes to the smartphone industry, there seems to be a lot of behind-the-scenes legal action that massively effects the profits and sales of many important manufacturers, including Microsoft, Samsung, LG, and in this case, Apple.
For a little over a year now, Apple has been in and out of court to defend against claims that suggested the company colluded with five major US eBook publishers to rise the prices of eBooks in the iOS store.
Originally, the plaintiffs sought $840 million for the eBook settlement, after claiming that Apple overcharged customers a total of $280 million. Despite these claims, and even some reports that suggested the publishers Apple colluded with even went on to increase the price of their eBooks on Amazon, Apple are still not in the wrong.
Going forward, if the ruling to charge Apple for the eBook settlement goes ahead, the company will have to pay $400 million out to wrongly charged customers. However, if Apple’s appeal is successful, a retrial may go underway, and the payment will be reduced to just $50 million. Apple could also get off the hook altogether if they are found to have not violated antitrust laws.
Honestly, it seems like Apple have already spent the better part of a year dodging payouts in court related to the eBook settlement, and whilst everything seems to point at the fact that Apple did violate antitrust laws, like many lawsuits within the smartphone industry, we probably won’t see this case closing up any time soon.
I expect this long drawn out court case will be damaging to Apple’s public image, and for this reason it seems they’re trying as hard as they can to retain innocence.
The five publishers allegedly involved with Apple’s price-bumping strategies have already settled similar lawsuits, leaving just Apple to battle it out for this length of time.