Apple will indeed have to cough up that $450 million settlement in the e-books antitrust case. The company was found guilty of conspiring with publishers to fix prices of e-books back in 2014, and had been appealing the case to the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review the guilty verdict, rejecting an October appeal by Apple. This means the company must comply with that 2014 settlement, and pay out the $450 million. Of that amount, $400 million goes to e-book customers, $20 million goes to the states, and $30 million goes to legal fees.
Consumers who overpaid will get credits they can apply to future e-book purchases, the Justice Department said in a statement Monday. “Apple’s liability for knowingly conspiring with book publishers to raise the prices of e-books is settled once and for all,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, who runs the department’s antitrust division.
Apple maintained its innocence throughout the trial and its subsequent appeals, saying it did not conspire with five publishers – HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin – to fix the prices of e-books. The company argued its deals with the publishers helped introduce competition into an e-book market previously monopolized by Amazon.
As for the publishers charged in the case, they earlier signed a $166 million settlement deal, which resulted in refunds to e-book customers.