Hoax : Samsung did not pay Apple $1bn fine in nickels

Bad Joke I would say, the latest story of Apple’s win in the mutual patent infringement case against Samsung, in which the jury assessed a $1bn fine, “Samsung paid Apple its $1bn fine by sending more than 30 trucks to Apple’s headquarters loaded with 5-cents “. And that when Apple security was just about to freak out, Apple chief executive Tim Cook was called by Samsung who told him “If they wanna play dirty then we are ready”

I was sooo happy once that both sides got fair share of revenge but now it all seems so dull. Hell with the hoax Samsung just won a case in Japan against Apple. So score 1-1.
On to the debunking.

1) Samsung’s fine isn’t yet payable; the judge hasn’t ruled. All we have is the jury’s verdict. The judge’s decision, which could include a tripling of the fine, is due on 20 September (or possibly 6 December now; it’s unclear). Until then, Apple has to wait .

2) If Samsung tried to pay the fine in five-cent coins, Apple could legitimately tell the trucks to turn around and head back to Samsung . Here’s phrase from the US Treasury web page:

Q: I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn’t this illegal?

A: The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” which states: “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

So basically it would be Apple’s choice whether it accepted the payment. (In the UK, the rules are stricter: “legal tender” – meaning payment for a court-ordered debt – mean, says the Royal Mint, that 5ps are only legal tender for amounts up to £5, for example. It’s only when you get to £1 that you can pay debts up to “any amount”.)

It was obvious from this fact : Ken Tindell via Twitter: “A nickel weighs 5g. It would take 2,755 18-wheeler trucks (max legal tare 80,000 lbs) to carry the money.”. Consider how much a billion dollars in nickels would weigh: you need 20bn of them, and at 5g each that’s 0.005 kg x 20,000,000,000 = 100,000,000 kg = 100,000 tonnes. There probably aren’t that many nickels in circulation anyway. The New York Times noted in 2006 that there were about 20bn nickels in circulation at the time; rising metal prices were encouraging people to melt them for the copper and zinc. The amount of copper involved (95% of each nickel) is truly humungous because a billion is a very big number. 100,000 tonnes of copper (let’s assume that’s what it is for now) would, at a density of 8,940 kg/cubic metre (that’s 8.94 tonnes/cubic metre), occupy just over 11,185 cubic metres. As an Olympic swimming pool has a capacity of 2,500 cubic metres (aka “one olymp”), that would be the same as four and a half Olympic swimming pools filled entirely with copper. Imagine that if you can.

The story actually originated on El Deforma a Mexican website which fake news for humour, silly people believed.

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