Press Release | CT Atty Gen George Jepsen
According to a press release issued by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, a federal judge has ruled that Apple Inc. violated federal and state law in conspiring to fix prices in the market for electronic books, or eBooks.
In the order, Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said that evidence presented in a trial held in June 2013 shows that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing a conspiracy designed to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise eBook prices.
The release states that a trial on the request for injunctive relief and damages will now be scheduled.
“As we have said throughout our investigation, consumers are entitled to a fair, open and competitive marketplace,” CT Atty Gen. Jepsen said. “The judge found, by a preponderance of the evidence that Apple conspired to restrain the marketplace for eBooks.
“This is a welcome decision for consumers and, as we move into the next phase of this trial, we will continue to aggressively seek compensation for those who have been injured by this conspiracy.”
In February 2013, the Attorney General announced that Holtzbrinck, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, had agreed to settle the same claims against it for the payment of $12 million to consumers in the participating states.
A $75 million settlement agreement with Penguin was announced in May.
Also in February, Judge Cote granted approval of previous settlements with eBook publishers:
- Hachette Book Group, Inc.,
- Harper Collins Publishers LLC and
- Simon & Schuster, Inc.
related to the same conduct.
These previous settlements were joined by the attorneys general of 49 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
To date, approximately $164 million has been recovered through settlements for consumers nationwide.
The litigation and settlements stem from a two-year investigation conducted by the Offices of the Connecticut and Texas Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice.
For consumer information on the previously approved settlements, please visit www.ebookagsettlements.com or call the eBooks settlement hotline at 1-866-621-4153.
Attorney General Jepsen serves as co-chair of the Antitrust Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General.
Please click here to view the judge’s Opinion and Order.
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