A few weeks ago, we talked about a new dispute that ended up with Apple being pretty close to paying around $400 million to settle reports that suggested the Cupertino based company was allegedly working alongside five large Ebook publishers to artificially raise the price of Ebooks on the iOS store.
Fast forward to today, and progress has been made to finally close up the eBook settlement. Court approval has been given to Apple to settle the claims for $450 million, $400m of which would go to eBook buyers, and $50 million to lawyer’s fees. This agreement was made in June, however it took till now for the court to approve the settlement.
The $400 million will be paid to buyer’s who have purchased unfairly priced eBooks across 33 states in the US, however, for the settlement to finally go ahead, the federal appeals court will need to uphold the findings from July 2013, which is when the eBook court dispute first appeared.
If the appeals court happens to overturn the judge’s ruling from July 2013, Apple will instead only be forced to pay $50 million to buyers, and $20 in lawyer’s fees, which cuts down the overall costs for Apple hugely. The judge in charge of the July 2013 ruling, Denise Cote, suggested that it’s very unlikely that Apple will get off easily, however she finds that the small possibility for Apple to get off the hook is “most troubling.”
No matter how much Apple pays for the eBook settlement, the year long dispute will undoubtedly cause some issues for Apple’s public image, something that Apple clearly care a lot for.
It seems large companies in the mobile industry are constantly in and out of court for various issues, mostly involving patent disputes, however Apple’s recent alleged eBook price fixing strategies seem a little more serious, especially when compared against mostly unnecessary trips Apple make to the court room.