In July 2013, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote concluded that Apple conspired with five major publishers to drive up the cost of e-books. Today, Dec. 15, the Second U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to begin hearing Apples appeal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Justice Departments original complaint said that Apple agreed with publishers in January 2010 to allow them to set a higher price for best sellers and new releases in response to the publishers Amazon problem: a $9.99 price point for those books onthe booksellers website. As a result, prices for e-book best sellers rose to $12.99 and $14.99, the government claimed.
On Monday, will consider whether the deal amounted to a deft market maneuver or an illegal conspiracy.
Earlier this month, Apples Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, talked with Fortune. He negotiated with five of the six major publishers to convince them to join the iBooks Store when it launched in 2010.
Cue said he would do it again, but take better notes.
Is it a fact that certain book prices went up? asks Cue. Yes. If you want to convict us on that, then were guilty. I knew some prices were going to go up, but hell, the whole world knew it, because thats what the publishers were saying: We want to get retailers to raise prices, and if were not able to, were not going to make the books available digitally. At the same time, other prices went down too, because now there was competition in the market.
If Apple fails to overturn the settlement on appeal, consumers could be in line for $400 million. Lawyers will receive the other $50 million.