Though a successful appeal could wash most of the fines away, Apple has gotten a federal judge's approval to settle for a charge of $450 million to put to rest allegations of e-book price fixing.
Per the terms of the settlement, Apple would pay $400 million to 23 million consumers. The remaining $50 million would be paid to cover legal fees.
The approval of the settlement's specifics on Nov. 21 fast-tracks Apple to putting the matter behind it, as the tech company could immediately begin settling with consumers and lawyers if the previous ruling finding the company guilty of violating federal antitrust laws is upheld.
However, Apple appealed that ruling and if its appeal is approved, the tech company could reach a settlement that sees it paying just a portion of that fee -- $50 million to consumers and $20 million in legal fees.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who ruled against the tech company on the matter in 2013 when she found Apple guilty, recently called the structuring of the settlement "highly unusual."
Apple's push to come to settlement terms is taking place on the eve of the Dec. 15 court ruling on the appeal, which will be decided in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. That court could confirm Cote's earlier ruling or revise the verdict on the tech company's culpability in the matter of the alleged price fixing.
The five e-book publishers implicated in the alleged price-fixing scheme have already settled with consumers. Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster paid a combined total of $166 million to settle the charges they faced.
Apple and the five publishers have been accused of colluding in a price-fixing scheme, in which they are said to have raised the prices of e-books well above the standard Amazon had established for the market. Apple is accused of conspiring with the publishers to raise the prices of e-books as early as 2009, in a scheme that would hurt Amazon's surging Kindle sales and open more room for the newly launched iPad to excel.
Apple alleges the publishers decided to raise the prices of e-book on their own, acting with their own interests in mind and without the influence of the iOS maker.
After Cote's previous ruling, Apple's top lawyer said that U.S. legal system hadn't established a precedent in which a company was found liable of antitrust violations for seeking a competitive edge when entering a market in which a single organization holds a monopoly.
"[The] Plaintiffs do not cite a single analogous case, and there is none," the lawyer stated. "The district court's decision finding Apple per se liable under the antitrust laws was therefore reversible error."