First Round Of Ebook Price Fixing Settlements Are Announced

from the when-crime-does-eventual-pay dept

When the Department of Justice decided to sue Apple and five of the major book publishers for price fixing ebooks, we were glad to see some justice coming to purchasers of overpriced ebooks. Shortly after filing the suit, three of those publishers, HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, decided to settle rather than fight. Now, the first round of settlements have been reached between these three companies and 49 states (sorry Minnesota) and 5 US territories. The settlement totals to around $69 million to be split among the states and territories.

In a press release on this settlement, Connecticut AG George Jepson states that while it is fine for companies to seek profit, they shouldn't harm the public in the process.
While publishers are entitled to their profits, consumers are equally entitled to a fair and open marketplace. This settlement will provide restitution to those customers who were harmed by this price-fixing scheme, but it also will restore competition in the eBook market for consumers’ long-term benefit.
By restoring competition in the market, these publishers agree to allow retailers pricing control of ebooks in the future. This could bring us back to $10 and below new releases that we have sorely missed.

While this settlement is getting underway, the settlement between these companies and the DOJ is still being reviewed. That may take a while as District Court Judge Denise Cote has 868 public comment letters to sift through. Hopefully, she can ignore the ignorant pleas of those opposed to the current settlement proposal and agree to a positive result. All that would be left is that actual lawsuit against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin which are all holding their ground that they did nothing wrong. 
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Filed Under: ebooks, price fixing, settlement
Companies: hachette, harpercollins, simon & schuster


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  1. icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), 31 Aug 2012 @ 12:36am

    Re: Doesn't seem fair????

    Doesn't SEEM fair???? You have got to be kidding me. The Apple v Samsung case was a civil issue. The US v Publishers issue was a CRIMINAL issue.

    It doesn't seem fair it absolutely IS NOT fair. Conspiring to artificially inflate prices does far more harm to consumers than violating a few "patents" does to Apple.

    Fair would be if the DOJ were to use the jury award from the Samsung case as a measure to determine the penalty for Apple in this case.

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