Second Circuit Upholds District Court Decision, Serial Objector Loses Appeal
SEATTLE — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 17, 2016 — Hagens Berman attorneys representing a class of e-book purchasers announced today that the Second Circuit has affirmed a District Court ruling, bringing consumers one step closer to a proposed $450 million settlement with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) for its role in an alleged e-book price-fixing scheme with five of the nation’s largest publishing companies. The Second Circuit rejected a single objector’s claim that the settlement structure that was contingent on Apple’s appeal was not ripe for decision.
With the court’s decision, what remains is Apple’s pending petition for the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s upholding of the district court’s findings that Apple orchestrated a price-fixing conspiracy with five of the largest e-book publishers in the United States. If the Supreme Court denies review or upholds the finding against Apple, consumers will receive an additional $400 million, potentially reaching a total amount of more than $560 million when combined with settlements with the publishing companies – more than twice the amount of losses suffered by the class of e-book purchasers. Hagens Berman litigated the case jointly with the United States Department of Justice and attorneys general from 33 U.S. states and territories.
The class of consumers alleged that Apple illegally colluded with a group of five publishing companies to manipulate the e-book market by artificially raising the price of e-books, lowering competition and charging consumers higher prices.
“The decision today affirms the contingent settlement structure we fashioned to maximize the potential amount of recovery and get money back into consumers’ hands as fast as possible,” said Steve W. Berman.
“This anticompetitive price-fixing collusion between Apple and the publishers caused the price of e-books to skyrocket 30 to 50 percent,” Berman said. “We hope to close the chapter on Apple’s e-book conspiracy soon.”
Read more about Hagens Berman’s lawsuit against Apple and e-book publishers.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Ashley Klann, 206-268-9363