Apple Inc.’s battle against government antitrust enforcers ended in defeat Monday, when the Supreme Court declined to consider its appeal of a lower-court ruling that found the company liable for conspiring to raise prices of e-books.

The Justice Department and about 30 states sued Apple in 2012, alleging it orchestrated a conspiracy among five of the top six U.S. publishers to fix e-book prices when it launched the iPad back in 2010.

In 2013 a New York federal trial judge had found Apple liable for price fixing, claiming that the company played a central role in a conspiracy among the five publishers to raise e-book prices. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed last year in a 2-1 ruling.

Also read: UN human rights chief: Lives could be in danger if the FBI forces Apple to help unlock San Bernardino iPhone

Without any comment, the supreme court has declared that the decisions would stay in place. With all appeal failed, Apple is expected to pay $450 million. Most of this money will go to the e-book consumers and will be a part of a settlement with private plaintiffs and the states that sued. $400 million will go to the users and $50 million will be paid as the legal fees.

Apple has not issued any immediate comments pertaining to the matter at hand. “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 of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. “And consumers will be made whole.

Furthermore, officials noted that publishers have paid a total of USD 166 million for consumer redress, which brings the total amount to USD 566 million. The majority of the consumers will receive credits which may be applied to future e-book purchases.

Meanwhile, Apple is burdened with an ongoing battle against the FBI, which is based on Cupertino rejecting the bureau’s request of unlocking San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

Via: New York Times

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