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'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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? ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers
HP downturn and automation eroding overtime on China's production lines
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
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.