(Adds details from order, no immediate comment from lawyers,
background, byline, case citation)
By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK, April 25 A U.S. appeals court will
consider Apple Inc's request to put off a July trial to
determine how much the iPad maker must pay in damages to
customers in more than two dozen states over e-book price
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said in a
brief order on Friday that a three-judge panel will hear Apple's
argument on why the trial should be put on hold while it appeals
a judge's ruling that it conspired with five publishers to raise
The judge, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York, had
denied Apple's request to postpone the trial on Wednesday. Cote
ruled last year after a non-jury trial that Apple had conspired
with the publishers in an effort to impede competitors such as
The 2nd Circuit's order on Friday also put on hold sending
out notice to consumers who may be entitled to damages until the
three-judge panel has ruled on Apple's request for a longer
stay. The notices to consumers were scheduled to be sent out
starting on Monday.
More than two dozen state attorneys general pursued the
liability finding alongside the U.S. Department of Justice.
Those states, along with attorneys for consumers, are now
seeking up to $840 million in damages for e-book customers, with
the exact amount set to be determined during the July trial.
Lawyers for Apple and for the consumer plaintiffs did not
immediately respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople for
the Texas and Connecticut attorneys general, who are leading the
states' case, also did not immediately respond to requests for
Apple's appeal of Cote's liability finding could last
months. The company denies any wrongdoing.
Cote appointed a federal monitor to oversee Apple's
compliance policies. The company has fiercely opposed the
monitorship but previously failed to convince the 2nd Circuit to
block him from his duties while the appeal is pending.
The five publishers previously agreed to pay more than $166
million to settle related antitrust charges, including 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. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Additional reporting by Jonathan
Stempel and Nate Raymond; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli, Bernard