Apple has been fighting the US courts and Justice department for the last three years trying to convince them that a more competitive landscape for e-book sales is best for business. Sadly, Apple has just lost a landmark case that will see the company process over $450 million in e-book refunds from anyone that purchased something from iBooks from April 1, 2010 to May 21, 2012.
The 2-1 ruling Tuesday by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan is basically the nail in the coffin for Apple. “We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices,” wrote Second Circuit JudgeDebra Ann Livingston. The conspiracy “unreasonably restrained trade” in violation of the Sherman Act, the federal antitrust law, the judge wrote.
There are few legal options left for Apple and they will likely have to give customers $3.17 if that book was a New York Times bestseller and a credit of $0.73 if the book was never a NYT bestseller. If you had purchased an e-book from Apple, you likely won’t get a check, but credits in your iBooks account that you can use to buy more books.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.