Apple’s $450M plan to settle ebook price-fixing gets green light


Gigaom

Apple could begin paying out $400 million worth of cash and ebook credits to consumers by the end of the year, after a federal judge approved an unusual deal related to an Apple-led conspiracy to fix the price of ebooks.

On Friday, Reuters reported that U.S. Distrct Judge Denise Cote approved a settlement reached this summer under which Apple agreed to pay $400 million to consumers and $50 million to lawyers.

Those numbers are conditional, however, on an appeals court upholding a 2013 verdict in the price-fixing case, in which Apple was found to have colluded with five big publishers to fix the price of ebooks. The appeals court will hear Apple’s challenge on December 15, but few expect that the court will disturb the verdict.

In the event the appeals court does send back the verdict to be reconsidered, Apple will instead pay only $50 million to consumers plus $20 million to the lawyers instead.

The unusual…

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