Apple prepared to pay $450 million for e-book price fixing case

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Apple is heading toward a $1 trillion market cap. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC
Apple is heading toward a $1 trillion market cap. Photo: Pierre Marcel/Flickr CC

One year after being found guilty of e-book price fixing, Apple has reached a conditional settlement with the U.S. State to pay $450 million for its role in the price fixing conspiracy that involved five major publishers.

Apple’s settlement could bring $400 million back to consumers’ wallets, reports Reuters, but the court documents filed on Wednesday reveal that the company isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel yet, with hopes that its appeal will shrink that fee down to just $70 million.

Escape Amazon’s evil Kindle empire with the cheeky Kobo Aura

Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Kobo's ebook reader trumps even the best Kindle on several fronts. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I just switched from Kindle to Kobo. Why? Amazon. It’s currently extorting publishing house Hachette by delaying orders and refusing to allow pre-orders for certain titles. The exact machinations are secret, but many people agree that Amazon is demanding discounts on ebooks.

I don’t want to see authors forced to get a second job to survive, so I switched. No more Kindle ebooks. I switched to Kobo, which has a great e-ink reader, a deep book catalog, and – most importantly – breakable DRM.

The results are mixed, with ups and downs for both the service and the hardware.

And The Winner Is… Best eBook Reading App

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Next time you are traveling somewhere or commuting your way to work, look around you. It’s evident that the number of book lovers who have taken to reading on a digital format has risen significantly over the years. In 2011 and 2012, Amazon said it sold 105 books for its Kindle e-reader for every 100 hardcover and paperback books, excluding free eBooks.

Though it has become apparent in recent years that there is a slight fall in the growth of eBook sales (particularly so in 2013), eBooks are still far too compelling to die out, and today we tend to use more than one medium to consume the same thing. So next time you’re hesitating to pull out your Kindle or iPad mini on the bus or train due to the watchful eyes of a “book snob,” just remember that it’s not possible to please everyone, and that there are still thousands of benefits to the electronic book format.

Apple Loses Latest Bid To Ditch Antitrust Monitor

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Apple has lost its latest bid to put court-appointed antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich on hold, with a federal appeals court rejecting Apple’s claim that the monitor’s work was causing irreparable harm.

In a brief order, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said that Bromwich (the former U.S. attorney and Justice Department inspector general given the job of ensuring antitrust compliance regarding e-book price fixing) may continue to examine Apple’s antitrust compliance policies, while Apple pursues a broader appeal seeking to remove him altogether.

Marvin, The Do-Everything E-Reader App, Gets Universal iOS 7 Update

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Marvin is an ebook reading app for the iPad that gathers together all your EPUB ebooks in one place. The idea is that you can keep your book files in your Dropbox and access them from anywhere.

It’s EPUB-only, which means it won’t work with your Kindle titles, but that’s no problem, because Marvin also has tight integration with the Calibre e-book app for desktop computers, and as all avid Cult of Mac readers know, it’s pretty easy to use Calibre to rip the DRM from your Kindle books and save them to your Dropbox as EPUBs.