Business Insider reports that just as it looked as if the long-running Apple e-books suit might finally be settled, the judge that was expected to OK the deal has expressed concerns that the terms of the settlement may be unfair to consumers.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found “most troubling” a clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if an appeals court reversed her finding that the company is liable for antitrust violations and sent it back to her for further proceedings.
Apple was found guilty of conspiring with book publishers to fix the pricing of e-books, a decision it is currently appealing. To expedite things, lawyers on both sides have agreed on what would happen for each of the three possible outcomes of the appeal.
The part of the deal the judge finds “troubling” is what happens if the appeals court overturns the original verdict, but sends the case back for new considerations. If this happens, Apple would pay $70 million, and the compensation fund would receive just $50 million of that.
Cote wondered what would happen if the appeals court overturned her ruling on a minor issue.