Three years ago, Apple was found guilty of anticompetitive behavior centered around ebook pricing and price-fixing. The case was in limbo for years as Apple appealed and tried to fight the ruling, but earlier this year the Supreme Court declined to hear the company’s appeal, putting Apple on the hook for $450 million. Law firm Hagens Berman today issued a press release revealing that payouts will begin being sent to affected customers tomorrow, June 21st.
Well, the e-book case that began in 2012 when the US government accused Apple of price-fixing finally ended yesterday when the Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s appeal. That left the original ruling intact, meaning that Apple is officially guilty of anti-competitive behavior and will have to fork out $450M in compensation.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the correct result was reached in law. Apple did deliberately set out to fix prices, it did strike secret deals, and it did intend to manipulate the e-book market. Emails from Steve Jobs confirmed the government’s claim that Apple struck the deals in the belief that consumers would end up paying more for e-books.
Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99. [Up from the typical $9.99 at the time.]
So far, so good. If you’d brought that evidence to me at the time Apple did the deals, I’d have agreed with the government that the company’s behavior was both illegal and morally wrong. But I’d argue that by the time the case was finally brought to court, it was already abundantly clear that it was not in the public interest to pursue it …