States say Apple should pay $840M in e-book price-fixing case

Taking a case to trial is usually a gamble, and when Apple decided to fight it out with the government over e-book pricing, it lost in a big way. The judge found that Apple did indeed conspire to fix prices, and the court issued an order that stopped Apple from entering into “Most Favored Nation (MFN)” pricing arrangements with publishers. That approach “eliminated any risk that Apple would ever have to compete on price when selling e-books, while as a practical matter forcing the Publishers to adopt the agency model across the board,” the judge wrote.

The judge’s plan is being executed by an appointed monitor, and Apple is fighting it every step of the way. The company filed an emergency appeal last week.

Now, however, the bills are coming. The Department of Justice led the prosecution, and it wasn’t seeking any money damages. But state attorneys general do want to get paid. The state authorities and consumer representatives on the case have submitted damage claims that add up to $280 million. They also argue that antitrust law allows them to triple that amount because of the definitive outcome of the earlier trial, making Apple’s total exposure $840 million, according to a weekend Bloomberg report.

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via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/1bnWjLg

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