Apple has come to an agreement outside the courts to close an antitrust lawsuit, which alleges the company conspired with publishers to inflate ebook pricing for iPhone and iPad owners. The lawsuit was brought forward by 33 US states and by avoiding the upcoming trial on July 14, Apple has avoided a potential payout of $840 million in damages.

Both parties involved are expected to confirm the terms of settlement within 30 days. The lawsuit originated back in 2012 when the US Department of Justice accused Apple along with five publishers of ebook price fixing. The US states supporting the case are suing Apple on behalf of respective consumers, but individual class action lawsuits have been filed by individuals.

The publishers affected by the case include Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group (USA) Inc, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, They have agreed to pay over $160 million in settlement charges.

Apple maintains that the company has "not [conspired] to fix ebook pricing," and has appealed the judge's decision.

Source: ZDNet