This summer, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Apple violated federal antitrust law by conspiring to fix the price of ebooks. The court called Apple’s price fixing the “supreme evil of antitrust”. Today, the Supreme Court has rejected Apple’s appeal.
Apple owes $450 million (£315m) to consumers who took part in a conditional class action settlement. And the Supreme Court rejection means it’s time to pay.
The case began in 2012, when the Department of Justice filed an antitrust complaint against Apple. This complaint said Apple conspired with major publishing companies to raise the price of ebooks above the $9.99 standard set by Amazon.
While Amazon almost got screwed, Jeff Bezos won’t be getting that multi-million windfall. Only lawyers will get a substantial chunk of the settlement. The rest will be doled out in tiny amounts to the up to 23 million people eligible for buying slightly more expensive ebooks a few years ago.