Power in world of books does not belong to brick and mortar bookstores and established publishers for a long time now. The advent of the digital age changed how books are edited, published and book collections curated. We now enjoy an access to information undreamed of just decades ago. We can carry our entire collections and read them wherever we feel like it or need to by using mobile devices. Although there are plenty advantages, some try to take advantage from the transition to the digital world. Apple wins preliminary court approval on Friday in an antitrust suit initiated by a New York court.
Amazon is one of the most important players in the distribution of digital books for quite some time now. Kindle is for most the ebook reader to go to when reading digital book versions. Apple tried to turn its iPad into a more competitive device, but it needed more than that. Apple allegedly conspired with five giant publishers to raise the ebook prices. Back in 2012, a New York district court sued the companies because they illegally joined to settle prices. Along with Apple, the other accused are Hachette, Harper Collins, Penguin and Simon & Schuster.
Apple has a rich experience in court hearings. The recent suit related to patents occurred just after Apple acquired Beats. Bose claims that Beats used its noise-cancelling technology patents and took the matter to court.
Apple wins preliminary court approval, will fight further through appeal
On Friday, it seems that Apple won preliminary court approval. The company sought a $450 million settlement of claims that consumers have suffered from the company’s actions. Out of the $450 million, $400 would go to consumers and $50 million to lawyers. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote is the one who first decide in 2013 that the companies conspired to set up the book prices.
Today, Cote was concerned that Apple might end up paying just a meager $70 million if the process would lengthen. That happens only if Apple does not win an appeal to the federal court. Another scenario is that when the federal court returns the case to Judge Cote. Apple might end up paying just $50 million to consumers and $20 million to lawyers if that happens.
“The proposed settlement agreement is within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable, such that notice to the class is appropriate,” Cote said. “Preliminary approval is granted.”
Cote strongly believe that even though Apple wins preliminary court approval, the company will end up paying the initial claim.