| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 29 A U.S. appeals court on
Thursday rejected Apple Inc's bid to delay a July trial
to determine damages after the company was found to have
colluded to fix the prices of e-books.
In a brief order, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
New York said the July 14 trial should proceed as scheduled,
while Apple separately pursues its appeal of U.S. District Judge
Denise Cote's ruling that it conspired with five publishers to
raise e-book prices.
Cote ruled last year after a non-jury trial that the conduct
of the iPad maker impeded e-book competitors such as Amazon.com
More than two dozen state attorneys general joined the
Department of Justice in suing Apple over e-books price fixing.
Those states, as well as a group of consumers, are seeking up to
$840 million in damages.
The exact amount of damages will be litigated before Cote at
a trial scheduled for July 14.
A lawyer and a spokesman for Apple did not immediately
comment on the order.
A spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George
Jepsen, who is leading the case along with his Texas counterpart
Greg Abbott, said, "We are pleased with the decision and
continue to prepare for the upcoming damages trial." A
spokeswoman for Abbott also said he was pleased with the ruling.
The appeal of Cote's liability finding is expected to last
months. Apple has denied any wrongdoing.
Cote has also appointed a federal monitor to supervise
Apple's compliance policies. The company has strenuously
objected to the monitor's activities, calling them intrusive and
The five publishers previously agreed to pay more than $166
million to settle related antitrust charges. They include
Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group Inc, News Corp's
HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group (USA) Inc,
CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg
von Holtzbrinck GmbH's Macmillan.
The case is In Re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation,
U.S. et al. v. Apple Inc. et al., 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals, No. 13-3741.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Richard Chang)