Apr

11

Department of Justice Sues Apple and Publishers for Price-Fixing E-Books and Settles with Three Other Publishers

Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : April 11, 2012

Today, the Antitrust Division sued Apple and a number of publishers for price fixing e-books.  The government alleges that Apple and the publishers agreed to use Apple as their agent – paying Apple a commission and allowing Apple to set the prices.  Apple set the prices at $9.99 with the support of the publishers.  The government alleges that this conduct constitutes price-fixing and is a per se violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act.  The action was brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York where a related multi-district litigation class action is pending, brought  by direct purchasers.  Today, the government also filed a motion for approval of a settlement with three other publishers.  In addition to important reporting requirements, the proposed final judgment provides that “[f]or two years, Settling Defendants shall not restrict, limit, or impede an E-book Retailer’s ability to set, alter, or reduce the Retail Price of any E-book or to offer price discounts or any other form of promotions to encourage consumers to Purchase one or more E-books.”

The E-Books Complaint and E-Books Settlement are available here.

 

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