Apple has agreed to pay $450m (£262.7m) in the US to settle claims the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix ebook prices.
It came ahead of damages trial next month, in which US states and lawyers for a class of consumers were expected to seek up to $840m (£490m). The deal follows earlier settlements with five publishers – Penguin Group, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette and Macmillan – that provided $166m (£97m) for ebook purchasers.
However, the Apple settlement could still be altered by the US circuit court of appeals in New York, could reverse the liability finding and either reduce the amount Apple pays to $70m or eliminate the settlement payments.
"While we cannot predict the outcome of the appeal with certainty, we are confident in the case we made against Apple at trial," Connecticut attorney general George Jepsen said in a statement.
The settlement still requires approval of a US district judge.
Apple denied that it had conspired to fix ebook prices and said it would continue pressing its case on appeal. "We did nothing wrong and we believe a fair assessment of the facts will show it," said Apple.
"The iBooks store has been good for consumers and the publishing industry as a whole, from well-known authors to first-time novelists. As we wait for the court to hear our appeal, we have agreed to a settlement which is contingent on the outcome of the appeal. If we are vindicated by the appeals court, no settlement will be paid."
Even if Apple does pay the full $450m, the sum is barely 1% of the $37bn (£22bn) it made in its last fiscal year, which ended in September.
Combined with the $400m from Apple, the recovery is "among the exceedingly rare cases that provide consumers nationwide with double the amount of their estimated damages", lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote.
The US Department of Justice and the state attorneys general sued Apple and five publishers in April 2012, accusing them of working together illegally to increase ebook prices.
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