Ending Apple’s legal feud with state and federal antitrust regulators, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Silicon Valley power’s last-ditch appeal of an order requiring the company to establish a $450 million compensation fund because it colluded with publishers in the electronic book market to jack up prices.
In a one-line order, the justices without comment let stand a federal appeals court ruling last year that backed a lower court decision against Apple, accused by the U.S. Justice Department and dozens of states of violating antitrust laws when the company entered the e-books market in 2010. The gist of the government’s case was that Apple tried to rig the e-books market in an effort to cut into Amazon’s grip on the industry.
Apple Inc.’s battle against government antitrust enforcers ended in defeat Monday when the Supreme Court declined to consider its appeal of a lower-court ruling that found the company liable for conspiring to raise prices of e-books.
The Justice Department and about 30 states sued Apple in 2012, alleging it orchestrated a conspiracy among five of the top six U.S. publishers to fix e-book prices when it launched the iPad in 2010.
A New York federal trial judge in 2013 found Apple liable for price fixing, saying the company played a central role in a conspiracy among the five publishers to raise e-book prices. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York agreed last year in a 2-1 ruling.