NEW YORK —A federal judge on Friday gave final approval to Apple Inc.'s agreement to pay $450 million to resolve claims it harmed consumers by conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan approved what she called a "highly unusual" accord. It calls for Apple to pay $400 million to as many as 23 million consumers and $50 million to lawyers if the company is unsuccessful in appealing a ruling that found it liable for antitrust violations. The $400 million comes on top of earlier settlements with five publishers in the case, which provided $166 million for e-book purchasers.
Apple agreed to the settlement in June, avoiding a damages trial in which attorneys general in 33 states and territories and lawyers for a class of consumers were expected to seek up to $840 million. The case is In Re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-md-02293.
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