FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2016
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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ATTORNEY GENERAL STRANGE ANNOUNCES THAT SUPREME COURT
DENIES APPLE’S REQUEST TO REVIEW E-BOOK’S PRICE-FIXING CASE
Apple to pay millions to consumers for its role in scheme to inflate E-book prices
(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange today announced that
the U.S. Supreme Court has denied Apple Inc.’s request for the Court to review a lower court
decision. This clears the way for the distribution of $400 million to U.S. consumers who paid
artificially-inflated prices for e-books. The lower court had held Apple liable for conspiring with
five major publishers to raise the prices of electronic books.
“This court action means that Apple will be held accountable for its price-fixing actions,
and that consumers who were damaged will receive compensation for their losses,” said Attorney
General Strange. “This should send a message throughout the nation that such schemes will not
Alabama is among a group of 33 states that investigated and prosecuted the antitrust case
against Apple and its co-conspirators. In July 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York ruled that Apple conspired to raise prices with: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
(now Penguin Random House), Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan, Hachette Book
Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, and Simon & Schuster Inc.
The case was tried jointly between the 33-state coalition and the U.S. Department of
Justice. The district court’s ruling was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit in June of 2015. With the Supreme Court declining to review that decision, Apple
has no further opportunity to contest its liability.
All five of the publishers settled prior to trial, and paid a total of approximately $166
million in nationwide consumer compensation. The states’ settlement with Apple was contingent
on the outcome of Apple’s appeal of the ruling, meaning Apple must now pay the maximum
contemplated amounts. In addition to the $400 million to be distributed to consumers – including
those represented by private counsel in a related class action – Apple will pay $20 million to the
states in reimbursement for fees and costs and to resolve claims for civil penalties.
The details of how consumer reimbursements will be processed have not been finalized.
Information will be provided at a later time.
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