US settles with final publisher in Apple e-book case

Feb 08, 2013
A woman tries out an e-book reader app on an Apple iPad at the Leipzig Book Fair on March 15, 2012. US authorities said Friday they reached a settlement with Macmillan, the last of five publishing firms accused of colluding with Apple in an e-book price-fixing conspiracy.

US authorities said Friday they reached a settlement with Macmillan, the last of five publishing firms accused of colluding with Apple in an e-book price-fixing conspiracy.

The said in a statement that with the five having settled, the case will proceed against , and that a trial was set to begin in June.

Macmillan joined Penguin Group, Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster in settling the charges of an illegal to raise e-book prices.

Macmillan agreed to immediately lift restrictions it has imposed on discounting and other promotions by e-book retailers, and its practices will be monitored under the settlement.

US officials allege the price-fixing scheme was aimed at ending a discounting effort by Amazon, which sold most e-books at $9.99 until Apple's new pricing plan was forced on the retail giant.

The move almost instantly raised the prices paid for e-books to $12.99, $14.99 or higher, according to the US complaint.

"As a result of today's settlement, Macmillan has agreed to immediately allow retailers to lower the prices consumers pay for Macmillan's e-books," said Jamillia Ferris of the Antitrust Division at Justice.

"Just as consumers are already paying lower prices for the e-book versions of many of Hachette's, HarperCollins' and Simon & Schuster's new releases and best sellers, we expect the prices of many of Macmillan's e-books will also decline."

According to the lawsuit filed last April, the five publishers and Apple were unhappy Amazon's efforts had reduced e-book prices and the retail profit margins of the book sellers to levels they thought were too low.

The suit filed in US District Court in New York said a conspiracy dating back to 2009 involved "schemes to limit Amazon's ability to discount e-books," hurting consumers by pushing up prices.

Macmillan's parent firm Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC is owned by German-based Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH.

Explore further: Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Penguin joins settlement in US e-books lawsuit

Dec 18, 2012

Penguin Group has agreed to join three other publishers in a settlement of a US government lawsuit alleging an e-book price-fixing conspiracy with Apple, officials said Tuesday.

Apple denies e-book pricing conspiracy

Apr 13, 2012

Apple denied a charge that it schemed with publishers to hike prices for e-books, portraying itself as a hero for prying Amazon's "monopolistic grip" from the market.

US judge OKs partial settlement in e-book case

Sep 06, 2012

A US judge approved a partial settlement Thursday in a lawsuit over e-book price-fixing, allowing three publishers to end a deal with Apple that became the target of a government probe.

US class-action ebook price-fixing suit can proceed

May 15, 2012

A judge Tuesday allowed a class-action case to proceed against Apple and six publishing houses alleging a price-fixing scheme for electronic books, citing "ample" indications of a conspiracy.

US defends suit on Apple, e-books amid criticism

Jul 23, 2012

US antitrust authorities Monday defended their lawsuit accusing Apple and major publishers of a price-fixing conspiracy on e-books, saying the action is "in the public interest."

Recommended for you

Sony's quarterly loss balloons on mobile woes

23 hours ago

Sony's losses ballooned to 136 billion yen ($1.2 billion) last quarter as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's troubled mobile phone division reported huge red ink.

Will Apple Pay be mobile pay's kick-start?

Oct 30, 2014

If anyone can get us to use our smartphones as wallets, it's Apple. That's what experts think about the recent launch of Apple Pay, the first mobile wallet to work on an iPhone.

Google execs discuss regulation, innovation and bobble-heads

Oct 30, 2014

Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg help run Google, one of the world's best-known, most successful - and most controversial - companies. They've just published a new book, "How Google Works," a guide to managing what they ...

LinkedIn reports 3Q loss but sales climb

Oct 30, 2014

LinkedIn Corp. posted a third-quarter loss on Thursday, but its results were better than expected as revenue grew sharply, sending shares of the online professional networking service higher in extended trading.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Voleure
not rated yet Feb 08, 2013
The other side of Steve Job's legacy...

glad to see it is finally unwound from the publisher side.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.