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Apple will pay up to $400 million to compensate consumers ensnared in a plot to raise the prices of digital books unless the company overturns a court decision attesting to its pivotal role in the collusion.

The terms of the settlement disclosed in a Wednesday court filing came a month after attorney suing Apple notified U.S. District Judge Denise Cote that an agreement had been reached to avert a trial.

Lawsuits filed on behalf of digital book buyers had been seeking damages of up to $840 million for a price-fixing scheme that Cote ruled had been orchestrated by Apple Inc.

Apple is appealing Cote's decision. The Cupertino, California, company won't have to pay the $400 million settlement if it prevails.

If the the appeal fails, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said this settlement, when combined with previous publisher settlements, will provide consumers with over twice their actual damages.

It's unclear how much would ultimately be due Tennessee consumers, but the state says statistics that Tennessee consumers make about 1.7 percent of digital book purchases in the U.S. At that rate, Tennessee's share of the settlement would total about $6.8 million.

Five major book publishers previously reached settlements totaling $166 million. Those companies were Penguin Group (now part of Penguin Random House); Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan; Hachette Book Group Inc.; HarperCollins Publishers LLC; and Simon & Schuster Inc.

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