Entries with tag us department of justice.

US Consumers Receive Credits from E-book Antitrust Case

Consumers who purchased electronic books in 2010 and 2012 have begun receiving notices that they will receive credits from a $166 million settlement in a high-profile, price-fixing antitrust case that the US Department of Justice and state attorneys general brought  against five large publishers. The publishers—Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA), Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins—were accused of collaborating on their pricing strategies to ultimately raise the retail price of books. As a result, books sold on Amazon that had cost $9.99 rose to $12.99 or $14.99, causing consumers to pay more than they should have. Most consumers who bought e-books from the publishers between 1 April 2010 and 21 May 2012 were given credits ranging from 73 cents to as much as $3.17 per book, the higher amount for a book on the New York Times bestseller list. Consumers in the state of Minnesota will receive between 94 cents and $3.93 per book as that case was settled separately. Most of the affected consumers were Amazon customers who can use the credit to purchase print or e-books from the company, which was not a party in the suit. Other retailers are also providing customers with credits or, in the case of Sony, checks. Apple, which also sells e-books, has yet to settle its case with the government and is scheduled to go to trial in May. (Reuters)(Bloomberg Businessweek)(San Francisco Chronicle)(Attorneys General and Class E-books Settlements)

Apple Objects to Proposed Punishments in e-Book Case

Apple attorney Orin Snyder says the US Department of Justice’s revised proposed punishment for colluding with publishers to set electronic book prices is “a 12-page broadside masquerading as a brief” that provides competing e-book vendor Amazon with a significant advantage. Apple is appealing last month’s verdict that found the company guilty of working with five major publishers to set e-book prices. The initial reforms sought by the US government included a 10-year injunction on Apple prohibiting it from negotiating contracts with the publishers, the company letting other e-book retailers link to their online stores from iOS apps, and the appointment of an external antitrust monitor. Apple objected to the proposed reforms, stating that they were vague, overreaching, and unwarranted. It also said the proposed punishment “introduces needless regulation and complexity to an evolving marketplace.” The judge in the case ordered government and Apple officials to meet and discuss remedies. (GigaOm)(CNET)

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