Koster: Missouri E-Book Consumers May See Slice of Apple Settlement

By KOLR10 News

Published 07/16 2014 04:04PM

Updated 07/16 2014 06:49PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – In an announcement on Wednesday, Attorney General Chris Koster says the 33 states litigating against Apple in the e-books antitrust litigation have reached a settlement.

According to Koster’s office, the settlement will pay up to $400 million in consumer damages if the liability order entered against Apple is affirmed by an appeals court.

The settlement would resolve a July 2013 ruling that says Apple conspired with five publishers - Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster - to increase retail prices of e-books from 2010 to 2012.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Missouri joined the investigation, served on the expert committee, and assisted with discovery and preparing for the case for trial last June.

Following the trial, it was proven that five leading conspired to eliminate retail e-book competition and raise prices ahead of the impending launch of the iPad.

The judge found that Apple played a key role in facilitating the conspiracy, which would not have succeeded without their involvement. Apple has appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

According to the Koster’s office, consumers have already received compensation from a $166 million settlement fund paid by the five publishers involved in the conspiracy. The $400 million settlement with Apple is contingent upon the resolution of Apple's appeal of Judge Cote's 2013 ruling.

The settlement provides for less relief if the decision is remanded for a new liability trial, and no relief in the event it is reversed without remand.

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