Well, there’s a thing. Reuters reports that Apple has agreed to settle the e-book anti-trust lawsuit filed by 33 state attorneys general and class-action lawyers for consumers from other states. Details of the settlement have not been released; it still needs approval from the court. Judge Cote has ordered the complainants and Apple to submit a filing to seek approval of the settlement within 30 days.

As I understand it, this renders the $840 million damages phase of the trial effectively moot. Apple is still going to fight the guilty verdict in the Department of Justice case, and the settlement is contingent upon the outcome of that case—if Apple can win on appeal, presumably it won’t need to pay anything.

Given that its experts in the matter of damage amounts kept getting disqualified, and the appeals court turned down its attempt to have the damages trial stayed altogether, I imagine Apple saw the writing on the wall and realized that this was the only way to avoid the further publicity arising from a contentious damages trial. It will be interesting to see what those terms turn out to be. And at least this reduces the number of things Apple has to appeal about.


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