Despite having three of its co-defendants in the price fixing lawsuit raised by the Department of Justice take the deal and run, Apple wants to have a court decide the outcome of the allegations against it for price fixing. In the words of one lawyer for the computer giant, it wants to see the decision made on the merits of the case.
“Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits,” Apple lawyer, Daniel Floyd, told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. “We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.”
The settlement for three of the Big Six publishers involved in the investigation involves allowing Amazon to go back to discounting its ebooks under the original wholesale model and stripping away Apple’s “most favored nation” status. The lawsuit alleges that Apple and five of the publishers colluded to artificially raise the price of ebooks in 2010 when the iPad was introduced in order to force Amazon to stop selling ebooks at or below cost. Amazon’s strategy at the time was to convince consumers to buy Kindle e-readers to take advantage of the supreme savings on ebooks.
The three publishers who took the settlement terms are now working with the states to reach a final decision on punitive damages that will be paid to the consumers. Hachette and HarperCollins have both agreed to the terms and will pay around $51 million in restitution. The third publisher, Simon&Schuster, is still in negotiations over its settlement terms.
While Apple wants to take this to court in the US, it was Apple and four of the five publishers who offered settlement terms to the European Commission for the EU’s own investigation. A similar investigation is underway in Australian for the same alleged price fixing.