Judge approves Apple's $450 million e-book settlement

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote on Friday accepted Apple's $450 million proposal to settle a class action lawsuit regarding e-book price fixing leveled by 33 states and territories.

Summation


According to in-court reports from Reuters, Judge Cote characterized the agreement as "unusual" prior to accepting the settlement terms that will see Apple pay out $400 to a class of consumers as well as citizens of 33 U.S. states and territories represented by state attorneys general. The final tally could come out to as many as 23 million iBooks users.

Apple has been awaiting Judge Cote's ruling since July, when all parties agreed to the $450 million sum. The class initially aimed for an $840 million payout.

The settlement is contingent on Apple's appeal of a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that found the company culpable of colluding with five major book publishers to falsely inflate e-book prices in the iBookstore. The same court, run by Judge Cote, is currently overseeing class-action suit proceedings. Depending on the outcome, consumers may only recoup $50 million and lawyers $20 million -- or nothing if Apple goes back to trial and is found not guilty of breaking antitrust laws -- as stated in the settlement's terms.

During today's hearing, Judge Cote called the agreement an "unusually structured settlement, especially for one arrived at on the eve of trial." However, the jurist did understand why plaintiffs agreed to the deal, citing Apple's use of legal tactics meant to delay proceedings, the publication reports.

Apple was first investigated, then sued, by the U.S. Department of Justice for employing so-called "agency model" pricing, which operates on a "most favored nations" basis that restricts content owners from selling the same product to a another retailer at a lower price. The system countered e-book sector leader Amazon's "wholesale model" that allows retailers to buy content in bulk and set resale prices at or below cost.

After Judge Cote found Apple guilty of collusion, the company was slapped with an injunction that bars it from entering into similar deals with content owners.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,713member

    In other book publisher news, Hachette and Amazon settled their dispute by agreeing to use the same agency model that got Apple sued.

  • Reply 2 of 52

    When Uncle Sam wants to get you, there is no justice. Since Apple's plan was just another legitimate way of doing business, and has been, where do Holder and Cote get off pre-judging Apple? Why didn't Apple go for a jury trial?

  • Reply 3 of 52
    @bobbyfozz, the whole system is corrupt. It%u2019s so depressing/discouraging.
  • Reply 4 of 52

    "In other book publisher news, Hachette and Amazon settled their dispute..."

     

    Are you kidding me? Unbelievable!

     

    So Amazon can do this with Hachette alone (at least so far) because Amazon wasn't cutting deals with multiple publishers? Or is the whole concept of Agency pricing anti-trust?

  • Reply 5 of 52
    Originally Posted by yoyo2222 View Post

    Or is the whole concept of Agency pricing anti-trust?


     

    No, it’s WAAAAAAA MOMMY THE BIG BAD APPLE IS COMPETING AGAINST US

  • Reply 6 of 52

    I think that 'getting Coted' should be added to the US English vocabulary (it means something along the lines of getting Borked, except that getting Coted refers to the do-er rather than the do-ee).

  • Reply 7 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 17,816member
    john.b wrote: »
    In other book publisher news, Hachette and Amazon settled their dispute by agreeing to use the same agency model that got Apple sued.
    The agency model wasn't the problem. It was when it was combined with a "most favored nation" agreement with Apple and evidence of a conspiracy with nearly every major publisher to set the same prices and all at about the same time. In and of itself the agency model is perfectly acceptable and wouldn't get the attention of any regulatory agency.

    This should actually be good news for Apple fans. It was Apple who made a proposal on how they would like to settle and the judge accepted Apple's suggestion rather than injecting her own.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,405member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

    Originally Posted by yoyo2222 View Post

    Or is the whole concept of Agency pricing anti-trust?


    No, it’s WAAAAAAA MOMMY THE BIG BAD APPLE IS COMPETING AGAINST US


    My point would be, "WAAAAAAA MOMMY THANKS TO APPLE'S AGENCY MODEL EBOOK PRICES ROSE BY 15-40%".

    How do you guys keep conveniently ignoring that fact?

    Thanks, Amazon, for trying to keep prices lower - since you had no real control over product quality, as Apple does,

    as a way to seize market share on items it makes, competing on price was not only sensible,

    BUT GREAT FOR CONSUMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

    Get it yet?

  • Reply 9 of 52
    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

    Thanks, Amazon, for trying to keep prices lower - since you had no real control over product quality, as Apple does,

     

    A company that has control over quality gets to charge more for it? Wow. What a concept.

     

    No real control over quality? You mean they get to be like a dry cleaner and say “not responsible for theft or damage” when your book arrives torn to shreds?

  • Reply 10 of 52
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,713member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

    Originally Posted by yoyo2222 View Post

    Or is the whole concept of Agency pricing anti-trust?


    No, it’s WAAAAAAA MOMMY THE BIG BAD APPLE IS COMPETING AGAINST US


    My point would be, "WAAAAAAA MOMMY THANKS TO APPLE'S AGENCY MODEL EBOOK PRICES ROSE BY 15-40%".

    How do you guys keep conveniently ignoring that fact?

    Thanks, Amazon, for trying to keep prices lower - since you had no real control over product quality, as Apple does,

    as a way to seize market share on items it makes, competing on price was not only sensible,

    BUT GREAT FOR CONSUMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

    Get it yet?


     

    It's the publishers' agency model.  Case in point:  Hatchette continues to use that same model with Amazon, where Hachette continues to be able to set their own pricing and Amazon takes a fixed percentage.

  • Reply 11 of 52



    Are they giving away brownie points on this site?

  • Reply 12 of 52
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,229member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    This should actually be good news for Apple fans. It was Apple who made a proposal on how they would like to settle and the judge accepted Apple's suggestion rather than injecting her own.

    You're right. Apple are very lucky:

    Rapist: I'm going to rape you. But you get to choose front or rear. What'll it be?
    Victim: Um...can I choose neither?
    Rapist: Sorry. It's gotta be one or the other. So which will it be?
    Victim: Um...front, I guess.
    Rapist: It's your lucky day. Front it is.
    Victim: Yay! Hooray for justice!
  • Reply 13 of 52
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,266member

    How does one tear an e-book to shreds?

  • Reply 14 of 52
    crowley wrote: »
    How does one tear an e-book to shreds?

    You can't.

    An e-book is the name for a digital book; it's not actually printed on paper.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    When is Judge Cote going to be found guilty of collusion with Amazon?
  • Reply 16 of 52
    When is Judge Cote going to be found guilty of collusion with Amazon?
    Never as there was no collusion despite some fevered dreams of the rabid fans
  • Reply 17 of 52
    They know that Cote will never let them win even if they are in the right. They are swamped in legal fees with trying to appeal the DOJ case. And the money is a pittance to them. So settle without admitting guilt and be done with it. Especially if it keeps more of this monitor crap out of their hair
  • Reply 18 of 52
    I'll be trashing this class action settlement email when it arrives. Free market got fecked thanks to DoJ and this judge and I won't be party to it.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,921member
    christophb wrote: »
    I'll be trashing this class action settlement email when it arrives. Free market got fecked thanks to DoJ and this judge and I won't be party to it.

    Except it wasn't free market.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Except it wasn't free market.

    Apple's part was until I see evidence otherwise. I'm not contesting the publishers' idiocy.
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