Apple’s week isn’t starting the way any company would like to start. Supreme Court turned down Apple’s request to be heard, meaning the ruling in the previous eBook case stands. The company has to pay a settlement to the tune of $400 million, $30 million to their own legal team, and $20 million to the Uncle Sam attorney team (Department of Justice).
In April 2012, Department of Justice filed a suit claiming Apple Inc. and five largest book companies in the U.S. conspired together to raise the prices of eBooks in Apple’s iTunes digital store. During 2014, Apple settled with the DoJ, with a ruling including a settlement to the tune of $450 million. However, Apple decided to challenge the ruling and demanded a challenge to the Supreme Court, claiming that the court ruling ‘harm competition and the national economy.’
The base for the case was a statement made by Apple’s late co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. At the iPad’s launch event, Steve Jobs introduced the iBookstore, claiming unified pricing was the way to go forward. When asked why would anyone buy a book on iBookstore for $14.99 when those titles are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc. for $9.99. Jobs reply was typical “The price will be the same,” going forward to state that “the publishers are actually withholding their books from Amazon becasue they’re not happy.”
As we all know, price fixing and cartel-style agreement between multiple parties is very much illegal in countries such as United States.
Supreme Court took its time, as it is embattled in different challenges which involve the President of United States, and the ruling party in Congress and Senate. Thus, until the 9th judge gets appointed, you need a 5:3 verdict. Courts decision not to hear Apple vs. U.S. DoJ however, came without a comment – meaning this probably was an unanimous decision.