Apple said to ask SCOTUS to review e-books case

Apple said to ask SCOTUS to review e-books case
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Apple has reportedly asked the Supreme Court to review a ruling that it conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books.

The company formally asked for the court to overturn the ruling on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

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An appeals court panel in June agreed with a lower court judge that Apple had conspired with five publishers to drive up the price of electronic books. The initial ruling against the company came in 2013.

In its filing, Apple argued that the ruling “will harm competition and the national economy” by limited innovation, according to Reuters.

The case began with Apple’s introduction of its own e-books service. In an effort to take on Amazon’s low prices, it negotiated contracts at higher prices with publishers and included a clause that said that if the publishers sold their ebooks elsewhere for a lower price, they would have to reduce the price in Apple’s store.

Because of changes in Amazon’s contracts with the publishers and the agreement with Apple, the government alleged, e-book prices ended up rising across the market by as much as five dollars from the $9.99 Amazon was charging.

The publishers quickly settled with the government, but Apple decided to fight the allegations.

"We have always acted in the best interest of customers and content creators of all sizes," Apple said in a statement. "We did nothing wrong, and stand by our principles. At this point, our only recourse is to take this to the Supreme Court.”

In 2014, after the initial ruling in the case, Apple reached a settlement with state attorneys general that would see it pay more than $450 million to consumers. If the ruling stands, Apple will have to go through with paying the settlement amount.

The company has faced antitrust scrutiny on other fronts. Critics have alleged that in rolling out its Apple Music service this year, the company has disadvantaged competing streaming applications sold through mobile store.