posted at 18:50
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Judge approves $450 mn deal in Apple ebook suit
The settlement negotiated to avoid trial in the civil case brought by authorities in 33 states calls on Apple to reimburse consumers to the tune of about $400 million and then pay legal costs and fees. In an unusual twist, the agreement is contingent on the upholding of a verdict in a July 2013 federal court ruling that Apple violated antitrust laws by orchestrating a conspiracy with five publishers to raise e-book prices. If Apple's federal conviction is overturned, no money will be paid. In the case of a retrial, Apple will pay a reduced settlement figure. The case centers on Apple's deal with the publishers as it introduced its iPad tablet, the varied uses of which included a challenge to Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader. The complaint, filed on behalf of consumers, accused Apple of working with five top publishers in 2009-2010 to set the prices of electronic books in an Apple-led effort to break into rival Amazon's dominance of the market. The judge in the case issued an injunction barring Apple from any similar practices and ordered the company to work with a court-appointed monitor on compliance. Prior to Apple's entry into e-books, the publishers - all of whom have settled in the case - complained about Amazon's $9.99 price for most titles.

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