Apple Inc faces $840M claims over lawsuits related to price rigging of e-books

February 1
12:52 PM 2014

Cupertino, California-based technology giant Apple Inc is facing $840 million in claims in lawsuits related to the pricing of electronic books, Bloomberg reported. The tech giant is still battling oversight by a monitor appointed by the court in an antitrust case lodged by the US, the report said.

In a filing with a federal judge in Manhattan presiding over the case of the US against Apple, a lawyer for the state attorneys general and plaintiffs said they are seeking three times the $280 million in damages in their lawsuit against the company for the pricing of its e-books, the report said.

According to the plaintiffs, which included consumers, the antitrust law entitles them to three times the damages since the US had already "conclusively proven" in last year's trial that Apple devised a scheme to rig prices. The damages they were asking for comprised 0.5% of the cash amounting to $158.8 billion that Apple said it held at the end of last year, Bloomberg reported.

In July, US District Judge Denise Cote ruled that the world's most valuable technology firm conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices. After a nonjury trial, Cote also determined that Apple was liable to the 33 states that united with the US Justice Department in its case. The antitrust regulator, however, did not seek money damages in its lawsuit, the report said.

Cote said a trial focusing on the damages asked for by the states will be held later in 2014. Nearly all the documents that the parties of the case filed have been redacted or filed under seal. However, in a memo to the judge, the plaintiffs pointed out that the price rigging caused e-book consumers widespread antitrust injury that according to an expert, it was worth at least $280 million, the report said.

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