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Apple Inc. (AAPL) To Refund $400M To E-Book Buyers

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Apple Inc.  will pay $400 million in compensation to e-book buyers as part of a settlement in a price-fixing scheme. Beginning June 21, millions of e-book purchasers will receive credits and checks from the iPhone maker for twice their losses following an antitrust lawsuit filed against Apple and five other publishing companies.

Three years ago, law firm Hagens Berman filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit claiming that Apple, HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster illegally fix e-books prices. A trial was held in June 2013, and the U.S. District Court decided the iPhone maker violated antitrust laws. The court has found that there was a conspiracy among five top U.S. publishers and the iPhone maker to fix and raise the retail prices of E-books. The Second Circuit has dismissed the appeals of objectors in this litigation, and the Supreme Court has denied Apple’s request for review of the Second Circuit’s affirmance of its liability finding against the company.

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According to attorneys, the anti-competitive price-fixing collusion between Apple and the publishers caused the price of e-books to increase 30%-50% to $12.99 or $14.99 from Amazon’s $9.99 price.

Settlement

Hagens Berman reached a settlement with Apple Inc.  to provide $400 million in compensation to consumers for overpayment on e-books.

If you purchased e-books from April 1, 2010, through May 21, 2012, you may receive payment from the Apple. Consumers will receive a $6.93 credit for every e-book which was a New York Times bestseller, and a $1.57 credit for other e-books.

Credits will be automatically sent directly into the accounts of consumers at major book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple. If e-book purchasers requested a check in lieu of a credit, they will receive a check. If purchasers received a credit during the first round of distribution of publisher settlements, and they did not opt out, they will automatically receive a credit.

“To make this settlement effective and accessible for consumers, our team faced a sizable undertaking that entailed almost constant contact with the retailers to make sure the credits will be applied to consumer accounts across the country,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said in a statement. “This is the second round of distribution in the case, and we believe the only case in the country to have so much money returned directly to consumers.”

Hagens Berman litigated the case jointly with the United States Department of Justice and attorneys general from 33 U.S. states and territories.

Apple Doesn’t Love Donald Trump

Apple may not support Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency, but the company’s CEO Tim Cook still supports the Republican Party. Cook is going to host a fundraiser for House Speaker Paul Ryan on June 28 in Menlo Park, California, Fortune reported, citing a latest report by Politico. Apple reportedly decided not to fund or support the Republican Party’s convention in Cleveland. The company has previously sponsored the presidential conventions of both the Republican and Democrats.

In other news, Apple Inc.  shares could fall further after already losing more than $200bn in market capitalization in one year. The stock is set to lose their weighting, and be reclassified in the annual reconstitution of the Russell Indexes. As per Credit Suisse analysts, when the reconstitution of the Russell Indexes takes effect, about $1.3bn more will be sold in Apple shares.

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