Apple faces $840m damages claim for alleged e-book price fixing

Content Management

by CBR Staff Writer| 04 February 2014

Class action suit for customers in 33 US states.

Apple is facing with $840m in state and consumer antitrust claims over e-book pricing 'conspiracy' with publishing firms. The Cupertino-based company is accused of trying set the price of e-books across the industry.

Filed by attorney Steve Berman leading a class action suit for e-books customers in 33 US states, the latest claim states that the iPhone-maker owes American e-books users at least of $231m in damages, and perhaps more money than that.

Last July, US District Judge Denise Cote found that the company had devised a scheme along with the e-book publishers to fix the prices of e-books.

In addition, Berman pointed out that there has been 18.1% rise in ebooks sales, or a total $280m worth of sales and urged the judge to force the iPhone maker to triple the amount, which could be effectively divided between plaintiffs.

Apple is currently seeking a hearing on the court appointed monitor appointed as part of a legal agreement in 2013 when the US firm had been allegedly found to have 'colluded' to raise the retail price of e-books.

Apple said in its filing that the monitorship the district court imposed on Apple is unprecedented, impermissible and unconstitutional.

"The court authorised the monitor to exercise authority that is not 'judicial'; to engage in ex parte discussions with the plaintiffs, even while the state plaintiffs are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from Apple in another proceeding; to incur significant and unrecoverable fees that Apple is supposed to pay; and to interview anyone at Apple and demand any Apple documents," a statement read.

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