Apple agrees to $450 million deal

Apple has agreed to pay $450 million to resolve state and consumer claims that the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices, according to court records filed Wednesday.

The settlement, which would provide $400 million for consumers, is conditioned on the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York federal judge’s ruling last year that Apple was liable for violating antitrust laws.

A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York reversing the judge could, under the settlement, either reduce the amount Apple pays to $70 million, with $50 million for consumers, or eliminate payments altogether.

The settlement, which requires approval of U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, had been announced last month. Terms were not disclosed at the time. It came ahead of an Aug. 25 damages trial in which attorneys general in 33 states and territories and lawyers for a class of consumers were expected to seek up to $840 million.

The deal follows earlier settlements with five publishers that provided $166 million for e-book purchasers.

The producer price index is up.

The Justice Department and the state attorneys general sued Apple and five publishers in April 2012, accusing them of working together illegally to increase e-book prices.

In July 2013, Cote found Apple liable for colluding with the publishers to impede e-book competitors such as after a nonjury trial.

— Reuters

Experimental drug fails Alzheimer’s test

Roche’s experimental drug crenezumab failed to delay a decline in thinking and memory skills in people with Alzheimer’s disease, a result likely to bolster a growing belief that drugs need to be given in earlier stages of the disease to show a benefit.

The Swiss drugmaker’s treatment was tested in patients with mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer’s, a fatal, brain-wasting condition that gradually robs patients of their ability to think and care for themselves.

Results of a Phase II study involving 431 patients found crenezumab failed to significantly slow cognitive and functional decline compared to a placebo, missing the study’s two main goals, Roche said in a statement Wednesday.

But an exploratory analysis of patients with a milder form of the disease who received a higher dose of crenezumab via an intravenous infusion showed a statistically significant reduction in cognitive decline, Roche said.

Analysts had anticipated limited success for crenezumab after a similar treatment from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson called bapineuzumab, and solanezumab, a drug from Eli Lilly, failed in late-stage trials. All three drugs work by blocking the toxic protein beta-amyloid that forms plaques in the brain believed to signal the onset of the disease.

— Reuters

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