“The high-fives must have been flying at Amazon this morning: millions of the company’s customers got notices to spend credits at its Kindle store, and Amazon didn’t have to pay a cent,” Jeff John Roberts writes for Gigaom. “Meanwhile, rival Apple will likely underwrite an even bigger shopping spree for Amazon customers sometimes yet year.”

“Welcome to the ironic denouement of l’affaire ebooks, which reached a climax in 2013 when a federal judge found that Apple had brokered a conspiracy with book publishers to fix prices. The legal tussle resulted in the publishers settling their cases — which is what paid for the customer credits that went out today — while Apple fought on alone,” Roberts writes. “For now, the biggest winner is Amazon, which already dominated the ebook market at the time of price-fixing scheme in 2010. Today, as a result of lawsuits brought by the Justice Department and state governments, Amazon is an even stronger position with the publishers; it will also get a healthy cut of the $160 million or so that the publishers agreed to pay under a settlement.”

Roberts writes, “Right now, [Apple] is in the midst of high legal torture at the hands of a hostile judge, class action lawyers, state attorneys general and the Justice Department.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Apple will someday run into a judge who isn’t a vacant-eyed puppet:

Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote (right),or vice versa

Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote (right), or vice versa

For the whole sordid story in concise form, please read: Apple’s Star Chamber: An abusive judge and her prosecutor friend besiege the tech maker.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Dan K." for the heads up.]

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