Court gives Apple final approval for e-book settlement with consumers

iBooks 3.2 for iOS (iOS 7, iPhone screenshot 001)

During a hearing Friday in Manhattan, a United States judge gave Apple final approval to pay $450 million to settle claims that it conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices on the iBooks Store.

Reuters reports that Judge Cote approved what she called an “unusual” accord. The ruling came after Apple in July agreed to pay big bucks to settle price fixing allegations that the government and class action lawyers leveled against the Cupertino firm.

Now Apple will pay a total of $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers. Apple, of course, will appeal to the ruling in an attempt to provide it shouldn’t be liable for antitrust violations.

“The $400 million comes on top of earlier settlements with five publishers in the case, which provided $166 million for e-book purchasers,” said Reuters.

Watchful readers will remember that the United States government accused Apple and five major U.S. publishers of fixing e-book prices on the iBooks Store.

The move, class action lawyers argued, stifled competition and was detrimental to consumers as Apple denied them the choice of price.