Apple slapped with new $840 million claim for ebooks price fixing

Apple was found guilty of conspiring with 5 major publishers to increase the prices of e-books last summer, but so far it hasn’t had to write a single check. But that could change soon thanks to a newly-filed damages claim.

Steve Berman, an attorney representing consumers and 33 states who linked up with the DOJ’s case against Apple, says the company’s actions caused e-book buyers to spend an extra $280,254,374. And wants that tripled…

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Bloomberg reports:

“State attorneys general and consumers who sued the world’s most valuable technology company over its e-book pricing are seeking $280 million in damages and want that amount tripled, a lawyer for them said in a filing yesterday with the federal judge in Manhattan who presided over the U.S. case against Apple.

The plaintiffs say 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. The amount sought is 0.5 percent of the $158.8 billion in cash that the Cupertino, California-based company reported that it had as of the end of 2013.”

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has said that she will hold a trial later this year to address the damages sought by the states. Cote is the Judge who found Apple guilty of e-book price fixing back in July, following a non-jury trial.

She also found Apple liable to the 33 states that joined the US Justice Department in its lawsuit. The Justice Department didn’t ask for money in its case, but it looks like the states are seeking major damages. This will be interesting.

In the meantime, Apple has other stuff to worry about. Next month, the company is set to face Samsung in round 2 of its Northern California patent infringement battle. Apple won the first round, netting nearly $1 billion in damages.

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