In a story that would, ironically, make a pretty good eBook holiday thriller, Apple has dredged up its seemingly-ended eBook pricing conspiracy lawsuit — asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling stating that Apple conspired to fix eBook prices when it launched its original iPad and iBook store in January 2010.
Yep, it’s the return of the lawsuit that will never end!
Apple was first accused of conspiring with publishers to increase eBook pricing in its Bookstore back in 2012. Later on, it was found to have colluded with publishers by a federal court. The company settled out of court in the price-fixing suit, in which potential damages were as much as $840 million.
Given that Apple’s damages in the case aren’t that much for a company Apple’s size — and most people thought this case was over — it’s a bit of a mystery why Cupertino lawyers would continue battling on. To Apple, though, it seems like it’s a matter of pride.
“This case … presents issues of surpassing importance to the United States economy,” Apple argued in papers filed with the high court yesterday. Apple’s lawyers defended the company’s conduct as the kind of behaviour called for in cases involving the, “dynamic, disruptive entry into new or stagnant markets — the lifeblood of American economic growth.”
If so, that’s a pretty admirable aim. Then again, maybe it’s something to do with the company’s continuing battle over its price-fixing antitrust monitor.