Apple Recap: Lonely Battle, Investor Gifts, the Power of Cash

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rose 1.44 percent on Friday to end at $474.98 and register a total 4-percent gain since announcing on Thursday afternoon that it was considering increasing its dividend and stock buyback funds. While most news on Friday centered around various reactions to Apple’s statement, there was also an important legal development for the company. Here are the top stories for Apple on the day:

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Apple’s Lonely Battle

Apple is now the only one left fighting with the U.S. Justice Department in the e-book antitrust case after publisher Macmillan reached a settlement with the agency on Friday. Macmillan was the last of five major publishers to settle the suit filed by the Justice Department last April, leaving the iPhone maker as the only remaining defendant in the case scheduled to start hearing in June.

The DoJ has alleged that five publishers and Apple colluded to raise e-book prices from Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) standard $9.99 price. According to the allegations, prices of bestsellers rose to $12.99 and $14.99 after Apple stepped in, thus hurting consumer interests. The publishers and Apple have denied the allegations. According to Friday’s settlement, Macmillan will have to allow e-book retailers to discount its titles within three business days of agreeing to the settlement, even if it has not made new contracts.

Macmillan chief executive John Sargent said in a statement that his company was forced to settle “because the potential penalties became too high to risk” and that the settlement did not include an admission of guilt… (Read more)

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