Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Deal: Documents filed with a New York U.S. District Court indicate that Apple (AAPL) has concluded an agreement in principle with plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over its e-book pricing practices, the Wall Street Journal notes. The civil suit was filed by consumers who alleged that Apple colluded with publishers to artificially inflate the prices of e-books sold through its iBookstore. Last year, Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of orchestrating the price-fixing arrangement, handing federal prosecutors a major antitrust victory. Apple has denied any wrongdoing and is appealing the verdict. The five publishers accused of colluding with Apple settled with the government before the case went to trial. Consumers had sued Apple alleging that the iPad-maker’s price-fixing resulted in $280 million in overcharges to customers who purchases e-books through the iBookstore. The plaintiffs had demanded treble damages, exposing Apple to a potential $840 million judgement, if they won. The settlement with consumers hinges on the outcome of Apple’s appeal of Judge Cote’s antitrust decision.
Already?: It won’t make school children looking forward to a long summer happy, but Apple may be planning to kick off this year’s Back to School promotional campaign at the end of the month, 9to5Mac notes. Apple Store sources say that store window displays will change on June 30 — Apple typically launches its Back to School promotion around this time of year to accelerate sales of Apple gear, offering rewards to consumers who buy iMacs, iPads and iPhones. In 2013, Apple gave iPad and iPhone buyers $50 gift cards, while iMac purchasers received $100 gift cards redeemable on the App Store. However, the window advertising change could also be linked to something else, possibly a different promotion or a new product.
Snatched: Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Samsung could end up owning Apple’s Siri voice-software partner. Nuance Communications (NUAN), which produces voice-command software applications, is putting itself up for sale and has held discussions with several potential purchasers. Nuance has reportedly held talks with private equity firms as well as South Korean electronic giant Samsung, Apple’s main mobile device rival. Nuance provides some of the voice recognition software used in Apple’s personal assistant Siri, which was introduced with the iPhone 4s in 2011. Activist investor Carl Icahn holds a 19% stake in Nuance. The status of the acquisition talks is unknown.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.