For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Todd Dvorak
(208) 334-4112

Date: June 30, 2015

Appellate Court Affirms Decision on Apple’s Liability in E-book Price-Fixing Scheme

(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says a federal appeals court has upheld a decision finding Apple Inc. liable for engaging in price-fixing in the E-book market, paving the way for restitution to harmed consumers.

Wasden says the decision Tuesday by the U.S. Second Court of Appeals follows a 2014 ruling that Apple violated antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to artificially raise prices between 2010 and 2012. Idaho joined 32 other states and the U.S. Department of Justice in suing Apple and five publishing houses.

After losing the case in federal district court last year, Apple agreed to pay $400 million to consumers harmed by paying the higher prices, providing the Court of Appeals upheld the decision.

Wasden said thousands of Idaho consumers who purchased books during the three-year period can expect to receive a portion of the payout, based on original purchase price, total books purchased and the publisher. The exact date of the payments is unknown.

“This is a great outcome and it follows three years of exhaustive litigation on behalf of Idaho consumers,” Wasden said. “In the end, it’s my hope that consumers will be compensated for Apple’s decision to take part in unlawful price fixing conduct.”

Each of the publishers eventually settled their cases with the states and federal government. Apple fought the allegations in a three-week trial. Last year, U.S. District Judge Denise Cole ruled that Apple’s conduct violated state and federal antitrust laws.

Apple appealed, leading the decision issued today by the Court of Appeals. The appellate justices also upheld the injunctive relief ordered by Judge Cole intended to make sure Apple does not commit future antitrust violations, including requiring Apple to modify contracts with publishers and appointing a monitor to review the company’s antitrust policies.

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