The US Supreme Court has rejected an Apple request to review a lower court’s ruling in an ebook price-fixing case, putting the Cupertino firm on the line for a hefty payout to customers.
The case reaches far back: Apple was found guilty in 2013 of conspiring with five publishers to raise the price of ebooks. The five publishers settled out of court, but Apple decided to fight till the bitter end.
It was, however, dealt another blow in 2015 when a court of appeals found that Apple’s terms with the publishers basically placed it at the head of a conspiracy to raise ebook prices, as noted by The New York Times.
Apple had one more go in asking the Supreme Court to look at its case, but the court decided against it (though it offered no reason why).
Apple all along maintained its innocence, saying that its entry into the ebook space with the iBookstore and the iPad actually increased competition and lowered prices.
But its overtures were futile as the courts decided it had indeed conspired to push ebook prices higher than what was offered on the likes of Amazon by entering into a particular pricing model with the publishers.
Apple must now pay customers $450 million (about £315m, AU$602m) as part of its settlement.