Judge voices concern over Apple's $450M e-book settlement, says may hurt consumers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote on Thursday said she is concerned about the terms of Apple's settlement with a class of consumers due hundreds of millions of dollars over e-book price fixing, claiming certain provisions could greatly reduce the damages payout.

iBooks


According to in-court reports from Reuters, Judge Cote takes issue with a particular settlement clause that would require Apple to only pay $70 million if her earlier decision is overturned by an appeals court and sent back down for reevaluation. Alternatively, if the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ultimately exonerates Apple, the company pays nothing.

The jurist went on to question the fairness of such a decrease in monetary damages, noting an appellate court could feasibly send the case back on a minor issue. That Apple would not be forced to pay interest on said damages during appeals proceedings was also a bone of contention.

"We thought given that unlikely scenario and the legal risk we would face it would be a good outcome for consumers," said Steve Berman, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs. After the session, Berman told the publication that his team would now reconsider the settlement after hearing Judge Cote's concerns.

In a July 2013 ruling, Judge Cote found Apple guilty of colluding with five major book publishers to inflate the prices of e-books sold through the iBookstore. The U.S. Department of Justice presented the antitrust case against Apple that ultimately brought an injunction barring the company from entering any similar arrangement with other parties.

Apple settled the case with 33 U.S. states and territories last week for a maximum of $450 million, with $400 million going directly to consumers affected by the iBookstore's e-book pricing. Plaintiffs were expected to seek up to $840 million if the case went to trial.

The settlement has not yet been ratified by Judge Cote, meaning its terms can be modified before being accepted by the court.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,246member
    Oh please, the amount that each consumer would miss out on is minuscule compared to the amount the lawyers would miss out on. And why would a judge care about lawyers--it's almost as if she was one . . . Oh wait . . .
  • Reply 2 of 59
    1brayden1brayden Posts: 31member
    Cote's courtroom has turned into a circus. You can't make this stuff up for a television series.
  • Reply 3 of 59
    jmz101jmz101 Posts: 9member

    So according to the proposed settlement - Apple would only have to settle if they were ultimately found guilty of price fixing; that seems fair. The Judge wants them to pay even if a later court finds them not guilty of price-fixing???

     

    I don't understand how they were found guilty in the first place - can someone enlighten me without jokes, puns, etc...

  • Reply 4 of 59

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  • Reply 5 of 59

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  • Reply 6 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,848member

    The insanity of that headline immediately told me it was Judge Cote. LOL!

     

    She should be bounced from the bench like a Superball.

  • Reply 7 of 59
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote on Thursday said she is concerned about the terms of Apple's settlement with a class of consumers due hundreds of millions of dollars over e-book price fixing, claiming certain provisions could greatly reduce the damages payout.



    According to in-court reports from Reuters, Judge Cote takes issue with a particular settlement clause that would require Apple to only pay $70 million if her earlier decision is overturned by an appeals court and sent back down for reevaluation. Alternatively, if the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ultimately exonerates Apple, the company pays nothing.

    So she's complaining that if her decision is appealed and Apple wins, Apple won't have to pay as much or pay at all?

    So if they get found not guilty or guilty to a lesser degree, they should still have to pay the full amount they agreed to (which they only agreed to because they were found guilty)?

  • Reply 8 of 59

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  • Reply 9 of 59
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,331member
    This judge is a joke. She doesn't stand for justice not the consumer, only for protecting the Amazon monopoly, the interests of lawyers and lining government pockets. Get this corrupt judge off the bench! What a farce.
  • Reply 10 of 59
    softekysofteky Posts: 130member
    All the more reason to overturn the whole decision on appeal.

    This is the judge who said there were unusual mitigating circumstances but would not let those moderate her verdict because, well, (and I paraphrase) not willing to suggest existing law needs to be further qualified.

    She is certainly turning the screws here.
  • Reply 11 of 59
    Apple has so much money, this judge thinks Apple should pay a fine even if Apple is proven not guilty! Is this what the USA has been reduced to? You are guilty even if you are proven not guilty. And, paying interest on money you do not have to pay? Really???

    Earlier tonight I decided unsubscribe from all Democratic emails due to all the political games beng played in Washington, DC. Now reading yet another asinine game continuing to be played has me feeling even more disgusted about the USA legal system. And, to think THE Obama ADMINISTRATION is writing guidelines for drone surveillance in the USA.

    Okay, I moved off topic, but it all is crashing in on the same day.
  • Reply 12 of 59
    stskstsk Posts: 21member
    I wonder how much Cote's legislation, titled "The Amazon Relief Act" will cost consumers, both in terms of killing publishers and ultimately raising prices through monopolist advantage. Perhaps Hachette could comment...
  • Reply 13 of 59
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    Think of the lawyers, people. For God's sake. Think of the lawyers! They have to eat too. On Gulfstream jets...

  • Reply 14 of 59
    Dude, holy crow this is going to get so reversed!! Even f it was a slam dunk Apple loss to begin with, it is gong to turn around the other way!
  • Reply 15 of 59
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    F-k you judge Cote!
  • Reply 16 of 59
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Anyone who thinks courtroom corruption ends here needs a reality slap in the face.

    Innocent people in prison, background deals between judges and lawyers, guilty without evidence etc. it's time WE STAND UP FOR THE PEOPLE... US!!!
  • Reply 17 of 59
    cali wrote: »
    Anyone who thinks courtroom corruption ends here needs a reality slap in the face.

    Innocent people in prison, background deals between judges and lawyers, guilty without evidence etc. it's time WE STAND UP FOR THE PEOPLE... US!!!

    I hope the whole thing gets reversed. I think there should be a law that states publicly where every single dollar of the settlement ends up. Public disclosure.
  • Reply 18 of 59
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member
    Quote:


    The jurist went on to question the fairness of such a decrease in monetary damages, noting an appellate court could feasibly send the case back on a minor issue. That Apple would not be forced to pay interest on said damages during appeals proceedings was also a bone of contention.


     

    You mean like deciding Apple was guilty before the trial even started?

  • Reply 19 of 59
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,622member
    Sitting on the other side of the world, and seeing what is going on in the Ukraine, ISIS, Gaza, Iran's weapons program, China and Japan's tiffs, and how impotent the USA has become, this sort of bullshit in what was once the land of the free is why the US, and thus the whole world, is going down the toilet.
  • Reply 20 of 59
    entropys wrote: »
    Sitting on the other side of the world, and seeing what is going on in the Ukraine, ISIS, Gaza, Iran's weapons program, China and Japan's tiffs, and how impotent the USA has become, this sort of bullshit in what was once the land of the free is why the US, and thus the whole world, is going down the toilet.

    You would be remiss if you think what you're "seeing" was not intentionally put there for you to see. In this day and age.
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