Apple Loses E-Book Case Appeal, May Head to Supreme Court

June 30, 2015 Updated: June 30, 2015

Apple has lost an appeal for its bitterly fought e-book price fixing case, and may be forced to take its case all the way to the Supreme Court.

The company lost an appeal to the federal appeals court, where it had taken its challenge to a 2013 ruling that it was guilty for conspiring to fix e-book prices with six of the top book publishers in the industry. That case had been brought against it by the Department of Justice.

With the loss of the appeal, Apple should now be paying $450 million in total to consumers who purchased e-books during the period that was covered in the trial.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) had brought the case against Apple and the six major book publishers in 2012, and the book publishers all opted out of the case through separate settlements with the Department of Justice, leaving Apple as the only plaintiff in the case. 

The DoJ had accused Apple and the six publishers of working together to increase prices on e-books by moving from a retail to agency pricing model, thus allowing Apple to compete with Amazon in the e-book reader space, while allowing the publishers to control the prices.