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Apple Granted Final Approval of $450M Ebooks Settlement

Apple Granted Final Approval of $450M Ebooks Settlement

Despite concerns expressed by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, Reuters reports that Apple has been granted final court approval for their $450 million ebooks settlement.

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Reuters, via 9to5Mac:

During a hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers if the company’s appeal of a ruling finding it liable for antitrust violations is unsuccessful.

Judge Cote had previously expressed concern over the proposed settlement, citing a clause in the agreement that she termed “most troubling.” However today she called the settlement agreement “within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable.”

The settlement follows Apple’s 2013 loss in court against the United States Department of Justice. Their case claimed Apple conspired with ebook publishers to artificially inflate ebook prices to consumers. Shortly after the ruling, Apple formally filed for an appeal in the case.

The settlement states if Apple wins its pending appeal it will not be forced to pay any fees. However, if they lose their appeal, the Cupertino firm will pay out $450 million, with $400 million going out to consumers and $50 million covering legal costs.

A third possibility is what caused the judge to question the settlement: Apple will pay $70 million with $50 million intended for the consumer compensation fund if the first verdict in the case is overturned but the court sends the case back.

Apple began issuing iTunes credits to customers affected by the ebooks price case earlier this year.

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