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Apple fights digital books ruling

Apple will pay up to 400 million dollars (£230m) to compensate consumers ensnared in a plot to raise the prices of digital books unless the company overturns a court decision attesting to its pivotal role in the collusion.

The terms of the settlement disclosed in a court filing in New York today came a month after lawyers suing Apple notified US District Judge Denise Cote that an agreement had been reached to avert a trial.

Lawsuits filed on behalf of digital book buyers had been seeking damages of up to 840 million dollars (£490m) for a price-fixing scheme that Judge Cote ruled had been orchestrated by Apple Inc.

Apple is appealing against Judge Cote's decision. The company won't have to pay the 400 million dollar settlement if it prevails.

Five major book publishers previously reached settlements totaling 166 million dollars (£97m) .

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