Why the e-book judge is ‘concerned’ about Apple’s antitrust deal E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons by Philip Elmer-DeWitt" itemprop="author" class="article-byline-author"> Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine 1:21 PM EDT The $450 million deal Apple cut last week has hit a roadblock: Denise Cote, the U.S. district judge who ruled last year that Apple illegally conspired to fix the price of e-books. As we reported last week, Apple bargained with the plaintiffs — 32 states and a class of e-book readers — as if it expected a partial victory if not a clean reversal on appeal. According the proposed settlement, that $450 million gets reduced to $70 million if her ruling is sent back and goes to $0.00 if it’s thrown out entirely. According to the plaintiffs, it was the best deal they could get. In a teleconference Thursday, Judge Cote made it clear that she didn’t like it one bit. What she found “most troubling,” according to Reuters‘ Nate Raymond, was the clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if the case comes back to her. According to Raymond: “Cote questioned if that would be fair and what might happen if the appeals court reversed her ruling on a minor issue. She also took issue with the lack of any requirement for Apple to pay interest while the appeals go forward. “I’m concerned about the terms of the settlement,” she said. Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple AAPL coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.