TIME Companies

Apple Set to Pay Out $450 Million Over E-Book-Price-Fixing Scandal

Federal Judge Rules Against Apple In EBook Price Fixing Lawsuit
The Apple logo is seen through a fence in front of an Apple Store on July 10, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

However the settlement sum could drop to zero if Apple is acquitted in a separate lawsuit

Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to plaintiffs in 33 states, should it be found guilty of an e-book price fixing conspiracy — but that’s a big “if.”

Whether Apple pays that sum will depend on the outcome of a separate lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, which also accuses Apple of conspiring to inflate e-book prices with several major publishers.

Should that case end in a guilty verdict, Apple will pay $450 million to avert a class-action lawsuit from customers in 33 states who claim they were overcharged by the company.

However, if the case is remanded to a lower court, then the settlement sum will drop to $70 million. If Apple is acquitted of any wrongdoing, the company will pay no settlement at all.

“This settlement potentially provides for exceptional consumer recovery and ensures an efficient use of judicial resources,” read a court document from the plaintiffs supporting the deal, first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

Apple was found guilty of price-fixing by a Manhattan court last year, but the company has appealed the ruling and maintained that the government has attempted to “reverse engineer a conspiracy from a market effect.”

TIME Autos

Tesla’s New Models Will Be Around 50% Cheaper

CEO Elon Musk said the next generation of Teslas would retail for as little as $35,000, around half the price of existing models

+ READ ARTICLE

Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company’s next generation of vehicles would retail for as little as $35,000, or roughly half the price of existing models.

Musk unveiled the price as well as the name of the new electric vehicle, Tesla Model 3, in an interview with Auto Express.

The savings, he said, would come out of a thorough redesign of the vehicle that will cut the size down by 20% and install lighter, cheaper batteries from Tesla’s upcoming Gigafactory. It would also limit the range of the vehicle to roughly 200 miles, compared with a range of 265 miles for the Model S.

Tesla tapped British engineer Chris Poritt, formerly of Aston Martin, to oversee the design of the new vehicle, and most essentially its new battery technology, which could put electric cars in the same cost bracket as gas guzzlers.

Tesla expects the Model 3 to launch by 2017.

[Auto Express]

TIME beauty

#SkinnyDays: Kim Kardashian Says She Misses Her Pre-Baby Body

And gets #OnTheTreadmillRightNOW

Locked in a race with herself, Kim Kardashian tweeted that she was running #OnTheTreadmillRightNOW in an attempt to slim down her body to what she called her “skinny days,” before she gave birth to a 4 pound, 15 ounce girl, when she could still shrink wrap herself into this skin-tight leotard/dress:

Kardashian tweeted the picture of herself, circa 2010, along with the unforgiving caption, “Throwback to a few years ago .”

Her followers responded with a mixture of disbelief (“are you kidding me?), sudden pangs of insecurity (“If she’s currently fat, than idek what tf I am”) and shameless marketing (“Get Your Dress $32.99 Sizes S-2XL”).

Kardashian’s post-baby body dilemma began little more than a year ago on June 15, with the birth of a baby girl and the subsequent public scrutiny of her body in a two-piece swimsuit five months later.

TIME Immigration

Arizona Politician Mistakes Y Campers for Migrant Children

Anti-Immigration Activists Protest Arrival Of Unaccompanied Central American Children To Housing Facility
Adam Kwasman, a Tea Party patriot running for congress (R), has a heated discussion with an anti-immigration activist during a protest along Mt. Lemmon Road in anticipation of buses carrying illegal immigrants on July 15, 2014 in Oracle, Arizona. Sandy Huffaker—Getty Images

The Arizona state legislator said he was struck by "the fear on their faces"

An Arizona politician has apologized for mistaking a busload of YMCA campers destined for summer camp for a group of frightened migrant children en route to a local shelter.

Local news site Azcentral reports that Republican congressional candidate Adam Kwasman tweeted a picture of the yellow school bus as it passed near the Rite of Passage migrant shelter in Oracle, Arizona. “This is not compassion,” he wrote in a now deleted tweet. “This is the abrogation of the rule of law.” He subsequently told a 12news reporter that he could “see the fear on their faces.”

He later tweeted an apology after he was informed that the children were not frightened migrants, but local children bound for YMCA’s Triangle Y Ranch Camp, which promises to deliver a “magical experience” in a “safe and nurturing environment.” Kwasman also greeted the news with relief:

 

TIME legal

FCC Extends Net Neutrality Deadline After Website Crashes

Protesters hold a rally before the FCC meeting on net neutrality proposal in Washington, DC.
Protesters march past the FCC headquarters before the Commission meeting on net neutrality proposal on May, 15, 2014 in Washington, DC. Bill O'Leary—Washington Post/Getty Images

Unable to file complaints online, protesters prepared to deliver their complaints in person

The Federal Communications Commission has extended a deadline for comments on proposed rules governing the future of the Internet after its website buckled under the pressure of the tens of thousands of comments on the matter submitted by the public.

The FCC has received more than 700,000 public comments through its online comment forms and an email inbox set up to handle the high number of messages. The website crashed on Tuesday, several hours before the public comment period was scheduled to close at midnight. The FCC announced that it would extend the comment deadline to Friday at midnight to accommodate the surge of last minute filings.

“Not surprisingly, we have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic in our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Filing System,” the FCC said in a statement.

Before the deadline changed, a consortium of net neutrality proponents, including the ACLU, DailyKos, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and MoveOn, called on supporters to hand deliver “hundreds of thousands” of printed complaints to the FCC, which they plan to do Tuesday.

The proposed rules at the center of the debate may allow Internet providers to charge content providers, such as YouTube or Netflix, for access to higher quality connections. Detractors fear such a move would divide the Internet between “fast lanes” and “slow lanes,” enabling deep-pocketed content providers to pay for better service.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the objections “flat-out wrong.” Nonetheless, he welcomed the flood of public feedback. A second round of public comments, in which people will be invited to respond to the first wave of comments, will begin on a yet-unannounced date.

“Keep your input coming” Wheeler recently tweeted as the number of comments neared 650,000.

TIME LGBT

CDC Survey Finds 1.6% of Adults Identify as Gay

Pride Week 2014
People carrying a giant rainbow flag in New York City's Pride Parade Stacey Bramhall—Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Another 0.7% identified as bisexual, and 1.1% said "something else" or didn't answer

Correction appended July 22.

For the first time in 57 years the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Information Survey has surveyed adults on their sexual orientation, and the results published Tuesday show that 1.6% of adults aged 18 or over identified as gay, while another 0.7% identified as bisexual.

The figures were slightly lower than the findings from previous surveys, which had estimated that the LGBT population comprised 3.4 to 4% of the population.

An additional 1.1% of respondents identified as ‘‘something else,’’ stated ‘‘I don’t know the answer,’’ or refused to provide an answer.

The CDC said its statistics would help researchers to identify and address health disparities between gay and straight adults. The report identified elevated levels of smoking and drinking among respondents who identified as gay, as well as a higher likelihood of meeting federal fitness guidelines.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly attributed the data to the wrong source. The survey was undertaken by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Information Survey.

TIME

Americans Support Drone Strikes, Rest of World Begs to Differ

PAKISTAN-US-MISSILE-ATTACK
Activists shout slogans as they protest against a US drone attack in Multan, Pakistan on December 26, 2103. S S MIRZA—AFP/Getty Images

A global opinion poll finds majorities in 39 countries disapprove of U.S. drone strikes

Americans support drone strikes by a slim majority, even if the rest of the world begs to differ by a wide margin, according to a new poll released by Pew Research Center on Monday.

The survey found that a majority of respondents in 39 countries opposed U.S. drone strikes, compared with only three countries, Israel, Kenya and the U.S., where more than half of respondents supported the tactic. Nowhere did the support match the lopsided opposition in countries such as Venezuela and Jordan, where disapproval topped 90%.
Widespread Opposition to Drones

Despite these misgivings about signature American policies, global opinion of the U.S. remains unchanged according to Pew, with a median of 65% of respondents across 43 nations expressing positive views.

TIME Companies

Big Tobacco Firms Merge as Cigarette Sales Decline

Packs of Camel cigarettes, manufactured by Reynolds American Inc., in a display rack in London on July 11, 2014.
Packs of Camel cigarettes, manufactured by Reynolds American Inc., in a display rack in London on July 11, 2014. Bloomberg/Getty Images

Reynolds American announced Tuesday that it would buy the third largest tobacco company in the U.S., Lorillard for $27.4 billion

Faced with a steady decline in cigarette sales, Reynolds American Inc. announced Tuesday that it would buy the third largest tobacco company in the U.S., Lorillard, Inc. for $27.4 billion.

The deal will make Reynolds American the second largest tobacco company in the U.S. after Altria Inc., maker of Marlboro cigarettes.

The companies will merge Reynold’s flagship brands, Camel, Pall Mall and American Spirit cigarettes, with Lorillard’s portfolio of Newport menthol-flavored cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Those two sectors are isolated areas of growth in an industry that has seen U.S. cigarette consumption decline by 4% last year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

TIME

Sotheby’s and eBay to Launch Virtual Auction House

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" Auctioned At Sotheby's
Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' is auctioned at Sotheby's May 2012 in New York City. Mario Tama—Getty Images

Bidding wars are about to heat up at the iconic auction house

The iconic auctioneer Sotheby’s will open its bidding wars to eBay’s 145 million shoppers, as the two companies team up to build an online auction house for fine art.

The two announced on Monday that Sotheby’s will be the “anchor tenant” for eBay’s new online marketplace. Collectors will be able to browse works across 18 different collection categories. The online auction site will also include a “live auction” feature that will enable users from anywhere in the world to place bids on Sotheby’s auctions in New York, promising a “frictionless” shopping experience for users that is sure to generate a lot more heat on the auction floor.

“We can give people access to the world’s finest, most inspiring items – anytime, anywhere and from any device,” Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, said in a statement.

Sotheby’s said its number of online buyers has surged in recent years, with its share of online purchases climbing by 36% since 2012.

“The growth of the art market, new generation technology and our shared strengths make this the right time for this exciting new online opportunity,” said Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby’s Chief Operating Officer.

Sotheby’s estimates that the global art market, currently valued at $65 billion, could reach $13 billion in online sales by 2020.

TIME Retail

Amazon Charges a Penny After France Bans Free Shipping

Booksellers On The Banks Of The Seine Opposite The Ile De La Cite In Paris, France In February, 2006 -
Booksellers on the banks of the Seine opposite the Ile de la Cite in Paris, France in February, 2006. Elise Hardy—Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

'Okay, we'll charge one cent'

Amazon thumbed its nose at a French ban on free shipping of book orders, agreeing to raise the shipping price to exactly $0.01 Euros, or a single penny.

France24 reports that Amazon’s move comes one month after the ban sailed through France’s National Assembly. Lawmakers argued that the nation’s roughly 3,500 bookstores needed protection from online competitors, whom they accused of “dumping” books on the market at a loss.

“We are unfortunately no longer allowed to offer free deliveries for book orders,” Amazon explained in an FAQ to shoppers, who might reasonably wonder why the company would bother to charge one cent. “We have therefore fixed delivery costs at one centime per order containing books and dispatched by Amazon to systematically guarantee the lowest price for your book orders.”

The free shipping ban was passed as an amendment to a 1981 law that also attempted to curb competition between booksellers by capping discounts on new books at 5%.

[France24]

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