US: Apple settles states’ eBook suit – with one major catch

Apple has reportedly reached a settlement agreement with 33 states that sued the technology giant for its role in fixing eBooks prices, reports say.

The company struck a deal Monday and the parties are now seeking approval for the settlement by US District Judge Denise Cote. Terms of the settlement were not revealed, however.

The states’ lawsuit follows the US Department of Justice’s own legal action against Apple, the only party not to settle with the DOJ when it probed various eBook publishers on suspicion of price manipulation. Judge Cote sided with federal authorities and ordered an external monitor to keep an eye on Apple’s compliance with antitrust law.

Now, Apple has seemingly avoided another trial with the latest settlement. The complainants were seeking trebled damages of $840 million in damages, and a trial was set to begin next month.

But there’s a catch

According to reports, while Apple has reached a settlement, no money will be paid out until Apple has exhausted all of its appeals of Judge Cote’s earlier ruling when it went to trial against the DOJ.

Apple has stated previously that it would appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

According to reports, the letter made public regarding the settlement notes that “any payment to be made by Apple under the settlement agreement will be contingent on the outcome of that appeal” of the original ruling.

Full content: Fortune

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