FACT CHECK: Did Samsung Pay A $1 Billion Fine To Apple In Pennies?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Instagram claims Samsung, a producer of electronic devices, paid Apple $1 billion in pennies as payment for a fine.


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A post shared by No (@we_need_fire)

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Samsung paid Apple $1 billion in pennies for a fine. The claim appears to have stemmed from a satirical news website.

Fact Check:

The image shared on Instagram appears to show part of a tweet dating back to February 2016 that features a photo of coins cascading into a large container. “Samsung pays Apple $1 Billion Fine by sending 42 trucks full of Pennies,” reads text included in the image. (RELATED: No, This Headline About Apple Scanning Phones For ‘Extremist Content And Firearms’ Is Not Real)

The post appears to be referencing a private settlement that, according to The Washington Post, the two companies reached after Apple successfully filed a lawsuit against Samsung for infringing Apple patents. A federal court found Samsung guilty of the charges in August 2012 and ordered the company to pay Apple $1 billion in damages, according to The New York Times. The companies came to an agreement in June 2018 after seven years of legal battles, The Washington Post reported.

While the details of the settlement were not made public, there is no evidence the deal involved Samsung paying Apple $1 billion in pennies. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to corroborate the claim. NBCLX reported in 2020 that there were 130 billion pennies in circulation. The 100 billion pennies Samsung would need to pay $1 billion would take about 77 percent of those 130 billion in circulation.

The viral claim appears to have stemmed from the satirical Mexican news website El Deforma, which published an article making a similar claim days after the initial August 2012 court ruling against Samsung. The article jokingly claimed the company paid Apple $1 billion in nickels, however, rather than pennies.

Neither Samsung nor Apple returned a request for comment by the time of publication.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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