WEB DESK: Apple Inc, lost its battle to overturn the court judgment that it conspired with five publishers to increase ebook prices, and therefore must pay $450 million in settlement in the latest encounter of the iPhone maker with the US judiciary.
According to Bloomberg, the US Supreme Court refused to hear Apple’s challenge, against the lower court rulings that the company was engaged in illegal market practices.
The rejection by the Supreme Court leaves intact a federal appeals court ruling favoring the US Justice Department and more than 30 states that sued Apple, as they found the company liable for engaging in a conspiracy that violated the federal antitrust laws.
“Apple’s liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, who runs the department’s antitrust division.
Out of the $450 million in settlement, Apple would pay $400 million to e-book consumers, $20 million to the states, and $30 million in legal fees.
Apple on the other hand, defended its actions at the Supreme Court, arguing that it improved competition by providing consumers with a new e-book platform. The Cupertino based tech added that e-book prices have declined 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.
According to Reuters, The Justice Department accused Apple of colluding with publishers as the Silicon Valley giant was launching its iPad in early 2010 and was seeking to grab the major chunk in the digital book market where Amazon low-cost dominated.