By RTT News,
February 01, 2014, 01:25:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) faces as much as $840 million in state and consumer antitrust claims related to electronic-book deals with publishers that led to a U.S. lawsuit and court-ordered monitor, the Bloomberg reported.
State attorneys general and consumers who sued the company over its e-book pricing are seeking $280 million in damages and want that amount tripled, the report quoted a lawyer for them as saying in a filing with the federal judge in Manhattan who presided over the U.S. case against Apple.
The plaintiffs reportedly said they're entitled to triple damages under antitrust law because the U.S. had already "conclusively proven" at a trial last year that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy to fix prices.
Apple introduced e-books in 2010 to boost the appeal of the newly unveiled iPad tablet as a reading device.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote concluded in July after a non-jury trial that Apple orchestrated a scheme with publishers to fix the prices of e-books. Cote also found Apple liable to 33 states that joined the U.S. Justice Department in its suit. The Justice Department did not ask for money damages in its case.
Cote said she will hold a trial this year on the damages sought by the states.
The report noted that the U.S. sued Apple and five publishers in April 2012, claiming that the company pushed publishers to sign agreements letting it sell digital copies of their books under what's known as the agency model. Under that model, publishers, and not retailers, set prices for each book, with Apple getting 30 percent. Apple was the last defendant left in the case after the publishers avoided trial by settling.
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