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Apple Inc.’s share price up, reaches settlement with U.S. states and customers over the pricing of e-books

According to a filing with a New York court, Apple Inc. managed to reach a settlement with U.S. states and customers in a civil class-action lawsuit over the pricing of e-books. Mr. Steve Berman, who is a lawyer representing both users and some U.S. states, revealed yesterday in a letter to the U.S. District Judge Denise Cote that the two parts reached an agreement in principle.

As reported by the Financial Times, Mr. Steve Berman announced that Apple and the plaintiffs had reached a “binding agreement in principle”. The lawyer also said in his letter to the District Judge that “any payment to be made by Apple under the settlement agreement will be contingent on the outcome of [the] appeal” of the ruling from 2013.

The accusations against Apple Inc. were associated to a ruling in 2014 that the company had followed an illegal scheme with publishers in order to artificially increase e-book prices. None of the exact terms of the settlement were disclosed. They need to get the approval by the court, which ordered the company to submit a filing for approval within one month.

Some U.S. states and customers had been seeking damages that amounted to 840 million dollars from Apple Inc. The plaintiffs insisted that the technological giant and five of the biggest publishers had fixed e-books prices and overcharged them by 280 million dollars. According to the accusations, the pricing model imposed by Apple Inc. artificially increased most e-books prices.

One of the spokeswomen that work for Apple Inc. – Ms. Kristin Huguet refused to make any comments on the situation. According to the filing, the company plans to continue its appeal on the ruling.

Apple Inc. was 1.01% up to close at 92.20 dollars per share yesterday, marking a one-year change of +50.08%. According to the information published on CNN Money, the 44 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Apple Inc. have a median target of 97.21, with a high estimate of 115.00 and a low estimate of 51.43. The median estimate represents a +5.44% increase from the last price of 92.20.

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