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Apple e-book price fixing case won't reach the Supreme Court

The court won't hear Apple's attempt to overturn a $450 million payout.

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Apple's last shot at avoiding a $450 million e-book price fixing settlement just went out the window. The US Supreme Court has declined to hear Apple's challenge of an appeals court decision that left the company on the hook for allegedly conspiring with publishers to raise digital book prices. The decision won't have much of an impact on Apple's day-to-day business (the court-approved antitrust monitor is no longer watching it like a hawk). Still, it's a symbolic loss for a tech giant that maintains it did nothing wrong.

The ruling isn't shocking. Apple argued that upholding the settlement would "chill innovation and risk-taking" but that's not strictly true -- the point is to prevent potentially unfair pricing agreements, not to set prices or limit e-book features. If nothing else, the company can take solace knowing that there's pressure on the Justice Department to investigate Amazon for its own practices, such as selling below cost to squeeze out competitors.

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