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Apple granted final approval for $450 million ebooks settlement despite judge’s concerns

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Following preliminary approval it received in August, Apple has been granted the final court approval it needed in its $450 million ebook settlement, according to a Reuters report.

During a hearing in Manhattan, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers if the company’s appeal of a ruling finding it liable for antitrust violations is unsuccessful.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote previously expressed concern over the proposed settlement citing a clause in the agreement that she called “most troubling”, but today called the settlement agreement “within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable.”

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Judge in e-book case ‘doesn’t want to intrude much on how Apple does business’

Photo: appadvice.com

Photo: appadvice.com

Judge Cote, who is overseeing the e-books case involving the DOJ and Apple, said today that she does not want to “intrudce much on how Apple does business”, according to an AP article. This is the same judge that found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise prices.

As noted by ATD things morning, Apple recently submitted a court filing calling the latest proposed fixes for its damage to the industry as “broadside masquerading as a brief”. In addition, the company accuses the DOJ of working to give Amazon a competitive advantage. Just four days ago, the DOJ claimed the company’s IAP policies were directly motivated by competition from Amazon.

“Plaintiffs devote much of their brief to seeking to justify an injunction directed at Apple’s unilateral dealings with Amazon (and other e-book retailers) in its App Store, an issue that the plaintiffs did not pursue at trial. Plaintiffs are seeking a remedy that would give Amazon significant competitive advantage over Apple — an advantage it is neither entitled to nor deserves.”

The damages trial for the case is scheduled for May, 2014.