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|Publishers Reach $69M E-Book Price-Fixing Settlement|
- Monday, 03 September 2012 12:06
Publishers Reach $69M E-Book Price-Fixing Settlement
By Kimberly Mirando
UPDATE: Details on how to receive a credit or refund from the E-Book Publisher Class Action Settlement are now available.
Three major publishers agreed last week to pay $69 million to settle an e-book price-fixing class action lawsuit filed by the states. The publishers also agreed to change the way they price e-books going forward as part of the antitrust settlement.
If the e-book class action settlement is approved, consumer who purchased agency-priced e-books between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012 can expect refunds.
Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster agreed to an antitrust class action lawsuit settlement to resolve allegations they conspired with one another to fix and maintain the price of digital books. The same three publishers agreed in May to settle an e-book price-fixing case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Defendants Apple, Penguin Group and MacMillan have not settled either case.
The e-book antitrust class action settlement was reached after a two-year investigation by the DOJ and two state attorneys general that allegedly uncovered the publishers worked with Apple to set prices for e-books and limit the discounts retailers could give. This caused consumers to pay “tens of millions” of dollars more for e-books, according to the class action lawsuit.
"While publishers are entitled to their profits, consumers are equally entitled to a fair and open marketplace," Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement. "This settlement will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the e-book market for consumers' long-term benefit."
Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster do not admit any wronging in agreeing to the e-book antitrust settlement, and assert their actions “were merely parallel, unilateral, or justified by market forces and completely legal.”
If the e-book class action settlement is approved by the Court, Hachette will pay $31,711,425, HarperCollins will pay $19,575,246, and Simon & Schuster will pay $17,752,480.
Consumer refunds from the e-book class action lawsuit settlement will appear in their online accounts on iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Consumers who purchased their e-books through Google or Sony’s storefronts will receive a check.
The publishers continue to face a number of consumer class action lawsuits over the alleged e-book price-fixing scheme.
Updated October 17th, 2012
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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09