Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an appeal filed by Apple Inc. clears the way for reimbursements to Idaho consumers harmed by artificially and unlawfully inflated prices for electronic books.
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Apple’s challenge to a lower court ruling that found it liable for price-fixing in the E-book marketplace. That decision sets in motion a settlement intended to distribute $400 million to consumers nationwide.
“Idaho consumers deserve to be compensated for Apple’s decision to engage in unlawful price-fixing conduct,” Wasden said. “The settlement with Apple will have the dual effect of obtaining restitution for Idaho consumers who were forced to pay higher prices for E–books and restoring competition in the E-book market.”
Under terms of a 2014 settlement reached between the company, 33 states and the U.S. Department of Justice, Idaho consumers who purchased E-books during a three-year period could expect to receive about $2 million in reimbursements.
Details about the settlement and exact amount consumers will receive will be announced in coming weeks, Wasden said.
The case dates back to a 2012 antitrust lawsuit filed by the states and federal government alleging Apple orchestrated a price-fixing scheme with five publishing houses. Those publishers included: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, L.L.C., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC, Penguin Group Inc., and Simon & Schuster Inc.
The publishers ultimately settled their cases with the states and federal government and have already paid $166 million in nationwide consumer compensation. But Apple fought the allegations in a three-week trial in U.S. District Court in New York.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cole ruled against Apple, concluding the company violated state and federal laws, a decision that was later upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.