Apple Loses $37bn in Value Due to Lack of New Products
An antitrust dispute revolving around Apple allegedly raising ebook prices has been settled out of court. IBTimes UK

Apple has reached an out-of-court settlement in an antitrust lawsuit regarding ebooks, potentially costing the tech giant millions in damages.

The class-action lawsuit, which was scheduled to begin next month, was brought about by 33 US states alleging that Apple had colluded with five major publishers to raise ebook prices in 2010.

The 14 July trial could have set Apple back more than $800m (£470m) in claims made by the US states, who were suing on behalf of their consumers.

Court approval is still needed for the exact terms of the settlement, which are yet to be made public.

Apple has previously been found liable by a federal court for conspiring with publishers to fix prices in the ebook market in an effort to compete with Amazon.

The separate non-jury trial that took place in 2012 has since been contested by Apple and the latest settlement is dependent on the outcome of that appeal.

"As set forth in the memorandum of understanding, any payment to be made by Apple under the settlement agreement will be contingent on the outcome of that appeal," Steve Berman, the plaintiffs' lead lawyer, wrote in a letter to the judge.

It has been consistently maintained by Apple that it "did not conspire to fix ebook pricing", however the publishers involved in the trial - Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster - agreed to pay around $160m in settlement charges in the 2012 case.