Federal judge approves class action status in Apple ebook price fixing case

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 28 Mar 2014

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote granted class action status to a lawsuit that accuses Apple of conspiring with publishers to fix eBook prices, reports Reuters. Cote has not assigned damages in the case, but experts believe it could climb into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cote said in her ruling that the plaintiffs had “more than met their burden” to sue as a group. She rejected Apple’s assertions that the plaintiff’s claims were too diverse for the group to be considered for class status. She also disagreed with the company’s arguments that consumers were not harmed as some eBook prices fell, a claim that Apple also pushed while defending itself in an earlier suit filed by the US Department of Justice .

Apple is facing both the consumer class action suit noted above and a separate civil suit involving 33 states and U.S. territories that sued Apple on behalf of their consumers. Damages have not been awarded in the latter case, but they may exceed more than $800 million.