When a company has more cash than the U.S. government, a federal lawsuit doesn’t seem all that intimidating. Apple is preparing for a court kerfuffle with the Justice Department, which says the electronics giant colluded with book publishers to raise e-book prices.
With some $97.6 billion in cash and marketable securities, Apple does indeed have more than the Treasury’s $48.8 billion. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said the lawsuit could cost Apple between $25 million and $200 million.
“To put the $200-million worst case into perspective, that would be about 0.2 percent of Apple’s overall cash,” Munster said. “The reality is it’s real money that they’re going to have to pay, but when you put it in the context of Apple, it’s irrelevant.”
Even at inflated prices, you could buy a lot of e-books with that kind of money.