Apple fudges book cartel rulings

Apple's Jonathan IveThe company which designer Jonathan Ive described a week or two back as built on integrity has finally agreed to cough up $450 million after it conspired with five publishers to hike the prices of e-books.

On Friday, US district judge Denise Cole told Apple it must pay $40 million to as many as 23 million people if it lost a hearing that showed it was liable under antitrust laws. But Apple is pushing for a fresh hearing and if it is unsuccessful it won’t have to pay anything.

And if that happens, the same judge may have to preside over the same case all over again.

Even though Apple agreed to settle the case in June, it can continue with an appeal  after it was found guilty last year  of conspiring to hike e-book prices and unfairly compete against Amazon.

Apple’s appeal is due to be heard in mid-December and if it is successful it might go to a new trial and continue to ramp up the cost of lawyers who have already racked up an estimated $20 million.