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Apple files appeal in e-book price-fixing case

Apple [corporate website] filed a brief [text, PDF] Wednesday with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] asking the court to either overturn a ruling from last year that Apple violated anti-trust laws or grant a new trial in front of different judges. Apple argues that the case management order that brought the case together in the Southern District of New York only applied to pretrial activity. They suggest that the class action should be moved to Northern California where it originated in 2011, and that the state action should be moved to the Western District of Texas where it is based. The brief states, "The [New York] Court never entered an order consolidating the class actions and States' action for any purpose other than pretrial proceedings." The brief also criticizes last year's ruling, stating that the judge's finding was a "radical departure" from modern anti-trust law that will "chill competition and harm consumers" if allowed to stand. Apple is currently set for a May 2014 trial for damages, which could amount to approximately $840 million.

Apple has been defending itself in a lawsuit over anti-trust violations brought [Reuters report] by 33 state attorneys general and class action attorneys representing consumers from 16 states. Earlier this month, the Second Circuit court denied a motion [JURIST report] by Apple requesting a temporary hold on the duties of the court appointed external compliance officer Michael Bromwich. This ruling came a month after Apple sought to disqualify [JURIST report] Bromwich for exceeding his mandate. Bromwich was installed by Judge Cote of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in October. In addition to installing Bromwich, Cote had also entered an injunction [JURIST report] against Apple in September, preventing the company from future anti-trust violations in connection with e-book price fixing. This all comes on the heels of a July ruling [JURIST report] by Cote, who found that Apple violated the Sherman Act and various state statutes in an e-book price fixing conspiracy. The US Department of Justice [official website] accused Apple of working with major publishers to increase the price of their e-books.

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