Appeals court denies Apple bid to delay e-books damages trial

An appeals court denied Apple's request for a stay during appeal

The trial for damages in the e-books price-fixing lawsuit against Apple is to proceed on July 14 after an appeals court declined to stay it.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Thursday that Apple did not qualify for a stay during appeal on proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where the case is scheduled to go on trial to determine damages. A temporary stay entered by the appeals court last month was ended.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of the New York court ruled last year that Apple and five major U.S. publishers had conspired to raise prices in the e-book market to counter Amazon.com.((

The U.S. Department of Justice, 33 states and U.S. territories and a group of consumers claiming class status brought lawsuits charging that Apple and the publishers conspired to raise e-book prices in 2010. All of the book publishers settled before a trial on liability that was held in June 2013.

At the hearing in July, the states and the class are scheduled to try their damages claims against Apple. Judge Cote earlier granted class certification to the consumer group as well as denied an Apple plea that the states lack standing or should be asked to seek class certification before seeking to recover damages from Apple due to its antitrust violations.

In its appeal, Apple has held that it had no knowledge that publishers were engaged in a conspiracy in December 2009 or at any other point. Apple had offered a retail business model to the publishers that was in the company's independent business interests "and was attractive to the publishers, who were frustrated with Amazon," it said in a filing in February.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment on the decision by the appeals court.

On Thursday, Judge Cote ordered the parties to confer and inform her on the schedule going forward for the proceedings, in view of the appeals court order.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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