Three of the nation’s largest book publishers – Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster – have agreed to pay $69 million to settle claims that they illegally conspired to fix e-book prices. The companies also agreed to change the way they price e-books going forward. The new pricing scheme will allow retailers such as Amazon.com to lower prices on e-books without prior approval from the publishers.
The antitrust lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. It was alleged that the publishers conspired, among themselves and with others, to increase retail e-book prices and eliminate competition by imposing a distribution model in which the publishers set the prices. A separate lawsuit against Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin, is still pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Under the proposed settlement, which requires court approval, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster will compensate consumers who purchased certain e-books between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012. Payments will begin 30 days after court approval. Consumers eligible for payments or credits will be notified by the retailer from which they purchased the qualifying e-book.
Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster have also agreed to terminate their existing agency agreements with certain retailers, requiring the publishers to give retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble the ability to discount e-book titles. For two years, the publishers will be prohibited from making any new agreements that constrain retailers’ ability to offer consumer discounts.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.