On Monday, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge from Apple Inc to a decision by an appeals court that it had conspired with 5 publishers to raise prices of e-books. This means Apple must pay the $450 million stipulated in the settlement.
The decision by the court to not hear this case leaves the ruling of June 2015 in place by the Second U.S. Circuit Appeals Court in New York that had favored the Justice Department and found that Apple was liable for its engagement in a conspiracy, which had violated antitrust laws of the U.S. government.
Apple, in the petition requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its cases, said the decision from June of last year holding up the ruling by a judge that Apple conspired with different publishers contradicted precedent at the Supreme Court and would lower risk taking and innovation.
The ruling by the 2nd Circuit followed a decision in 2003 by Judge Denise Cote in U.S. District court following a trial that was non-jury that Apple’s role was central in the conspiracy with the publishers to end the price competition as well as raise prices of e-books.
The Justice Department announced that the scheme had caused some prices of e-books to increase from $9.99 to as much as $14.99. Amazon.com the market leader had been selling the e-books at the $9.99 when the price increases started.
The liability for Apple for conspiring knowingly with publishers to increase the e-books prices is now settled for good, said the Justice Department’s head of the antitrust division Bill Baer, who has called the conspiracy to fix prices “cynical misconduct.”
Publishers, the Department of Justice said had conspired with Cupertino. California based Apple included HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, and MacMillan.
On February 17, a New York appeals court upheld the settlement, which was challenged by a purchaser of e-books.
Apple at the time of the announcement did not make a public comment regarding the Supreme Court’s decision.
Apple was accused by the Justice Department of colluding with five publishers, as the giant of Silicon Valley was launching its new iPad during 2010.