Apple Inc. Agrees To Settle Ebook Price-Fixing Lawsuit [Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)]

apple inc.Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 2.3 percent this week from the close of trading on Tuesday, June 10, to close of trading Tuesday, June 17. The market overall also fell, but did slightly better than AAPL, with the Dow falling 0.81 percent, Nasdaq falling 0.02 percent, and the S&P 500 falling 0.45 percent.

Settlement Agreement

The big news of the week is that Apple agreed to settle the damages portion of a price-fixing lawsuit where plaintiffs had sought as much as $840 million, claiming that Apple overcharged consumers $280 million for ebooks.

The settlement agreement is sealed and is not available to the public, but GigaOm research guesses that Apple agreed to pay $100 to $300 million, based on the amounts that the other defendants in the case have already paid.

In the lawsuit, the federal government, later joined by various states and individual consumers, sued Apple and publishers Simon & Schuster (NYSE: CBS), Hachette (OTC: LGDDF), Penguin (NYSE: PSO), MacMillan (privately owned), and HarperCollins (NASDAQ: NWSA), claiming that Apple had illegally colluded with the publishers to raise ebook prices.

The settlement is not yet final. Apple is still appealing the earlier ruling in the case that it had violated antitrust laws. If Apple loses its appeal, which appears likely, the settlement will then go into effect.

Will the Amazon Phone Be a Threat to the iPhone?

Amazon is expected to announce the launch of its 3-D smartphone later today. It remains to be seen whether this will affect sales of Apple’s iPhone. At least one analyst thinks that the Amazon phone will compete mostly with Android phones and will have little impact on Apple.

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