Judge grants class action status to e-book suit against Apple

courtroom gavel

Reuters is reporting that a federal judge has granted ‘class action’ status to plaintiffs suing Apple over its collusion with book publishers to increase the price of e-books. The ruling allows the involved individuals to sue the company and collect damages as a group.

The decision came from U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who also presided over the antitrust case against Apple by the DOJ last summer. Cote says the plaintiffs had “more than met their burden” to file as a group, and has green-lighted their $800 million lawsuit…

Here’s more from Reuters:

A federal judge in New York granted class certification on Friday to a group of consumers who sued Apple Inc for conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices in violation of antitrust law.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said the plaintiffs had “more than met their burden” to allow them to sue as a group. She rejected Apple’s contentions that the claims were too different from each other, or that some plaintiffs were not harmed because some e-book prices fell.

“This is a paradigmatic antitrust class action,” wrote Cote, who has scheduled a trial later this year to determine damages, which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The outlet says that this particular trial will likely take place in either July or September.

This is just the beginning of Apple’s e-book legal troubles though. In addition to this class action suit, and the DOJ case that it’s trying to appeal, the company faces litigation from thirty-three states and U.S. territories who have separately sued on behalf of their consumers.

Some have estimated Apple could owe as much as $500 million in damages from its Federal antitrust case, and now it faces $800 million from this suit. You have to wonder if Tim Cook and company regret not settling, as the publishers did, before things got out of hand.