An appeals court this week refused to halt a trial that could require Apple to pay hundreds of millions of dollars over price-fixing, even as the company continues to deny any wrong-doing and seeks an appeal.
In a succinct order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said a trial can go forward on July 14 that will determine how much Apple should pay for brokering a conspiracy with book publishers to fix the price of ebooks.
In April, class action lawyer Steve Berman said, “Consumers could see a judgment of between $750 to $850 million,” as punishment related to Justice Denise Cote’s conclusion last year that Apple organized the scheme.
The five publishers who participated in the conspiracy have already settled, resulting in consumers receiving emails telling them of credits paid to their Kindle and Barnes & Nobel accounts. This week’s appeals court ruling means that those consumers are likely to receive emails notifying them of the July trial.
Apple is still appealing Cote’s ruling from last year, and argued that the damages process should be put on ice until that is resolved. The company has also filed multiple procedural challenges, but has been getting the worst of it at every turn.
While the Wall Street Journal has decried an apparent bias on the part of Cote, including her decision to appoint an unqualified friend to investigate Apple, the company faces an uphill battle on every front of the case.