Feeds

Plaintiffs: 'Hey judge! Soak Apple for $840m in ebook price-fixing suit'

Damages are $280m, they say, but should be tripled because case was 'conclusively proven'

Apple may be on the hook for as much as $840m after having been found guilty of ebook price-fixing.

The state attorneys general who joined the price-fixing suit along with the US Department of Justice have told the court that not only should Apple be liable for $280m in damages, but that antitrust law says the amount should be tripled to $840m, seeing as how Apple's guilt was "conclusively proven" in court, Bloomberg reports.

Last July, US District Judge Denise Cote ruled against Apple in the price-fixing trial – a non-jury affair – in which charges had been brought against Cupertino by consumers, attorneys general of 33 states, and the DoJ. The feds didn't seek damages, but the other plaintiffs did – and we now know how much, according to the sources speaking with Bloomberg.

Five publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster – had also been implicated in the price-fixing scheme, but they all settled rather than go to trial. Apple refused to settle, fought the case in court, and lost.

The DoJ had requested a raft of remedies in the case, including extending the judgment to include not only ebooks, but also "music, movies, television shows or other content." It also wanted to force Apple to allow other ebook sellers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, to peddle their wares through their own apps, and thus not have to pay Apple its standard 30 per cent iTunes Store cut.

Cote cut Apple slack on those DoJ requests, but she did rule that Apple must refrain from the price-fixing activities that had stirred the ire of the many plaintiffs, and that Cupertino employ an on-premise watchdog to ensure that it would not be naughty for at least the next five years – a stipulation to which Apple has objected, had its objections rejected, and which is now under appeal, with Apple to plead its case before a federal appeals panel this week.

As for the $280m or $840m in damages, Cote says she will conduct a trial on damages this year. But even if Apple gets socked with the larger figure, as Bloomberg perspicaciously pointed out, that amount will be a mere 0.5 per cent nibble out of Cook & Co.'s mighty $158.8bn cheese-wheel of cash.

Well, 0.529 per cent, to be more accurate – but such rounding errors mean little to a company that still retains the world's largest market capitalization, despite recent stumbles.

It's the principle that matters, right Mr. Cook? ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.