Apple conspired with publishers to artificially raise the price of e-books, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today, upholding a verdict from 2013. Now that the company has lost its appeal, Apple is expected to pay $450 million, most of it to e-book customers. Apple agreed to a $450 million settlement in 2014 as part of the appeals process: If Apple had won in today's ruling, it would have had to pay just $70 million ($50 million of that to customers) or it could have been off the hook entirely.
Nearly half a billion dollars is still less than the $840 million plaintiffs sought in the civil antitrust case. For perspective, $450 million is 3 percent of Apple's profit for the quarter ending in December, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices," Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston wrote today.
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