Yesterday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced a proposed settlement with Apple over its involvement in e-book price fixing. The settlement still needs to be approved by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A district court found a year ago that Apple conspired with five publishers between 2010 and 2012 to artificially raise the price of e-books. Apple is appealing the ruling, and the settlement is contingent on that appeal. If the ruling is upheld, consumers will receive $400 million. But if the appeal exonerates Apple, people who bought e-books during that timeframe would get nothing. (There’s also a situation where consumers could get $50 million. Rest assured, Apple can pay for all of this.)
According to a release from the attorney general’s office, Pennsylvania buyers account for 4 percent of e-book purchases in the U.S. The settlement with Apple “will provide consumers with more than twice their actual damages,” according to Kane’s office.
“This settlement proves that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a release. “In a major victory, our settlement has the potential to result in Apple paying hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers to compensate them for paying unlawfully inflated e-book prices.”