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Correction -- Third Publisher Settles In eBook Price Fixing Class Action Suit

by on17 May 2012 2200 times

73Here is an interesting one, after our report that covered a few emails where Steve Jobs himself got involved in creating a new eBook pricing structure we find out that one of the five publishers in “the club” has now settled with the 29 states that have open class action suits against Apple and company (This is not the same as the Departmetn of Justice Antitrust suit).

Simon & Schuster has been excused (does that not sound like a kid being let out of detention?) from the open class action suit that now counts 29 states (and we hear more are jumping in). Simon & Schuster previously settled with the DoJ who also has an open suit against Apple and their pals.

We have a feeling that Simon & Schuster will not be the last to settle before more states join. There is also the possibility that there will be consumer class action suits to follow, but getting excused now, they might be hoping to get out of those. We are also fairly sure that in light of the evidence that is being presented (like the emails that we linked) they did not feel they were in a winning position.

Apple, Penguin, and Macmillan still think they can get through the DoJ suit. While Apple still has four other friends left at the party in the class action suits open now. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out in the end especially with some claiming that by countering the little book cartel that Jobs setup the government will be effectively turning over a monopoly to Amazon.

If that is really true, then Amazon will be the first “monopoly” that ever drove prices down instead of up. They are also not locking out the competition at all (like some have claimed). Apple could offer their books at $9.99 and Barnes & Noble (well now a Microsoft company) could do the same. What is being countered here is an artificial rising of prices to combat lower standard book sales. No company or companies should be allowed to do that at the expense of the consumer.

Update - We have been contacted by Simon & Schuster letting us know they were third to settle in this one as well. Harper Collins and Hatchette settled when the initial suit was filed. Simon & Schuster are in fact the third to settle in this instance. The only publishers that are still involved in both the DoJ and State filed class action are Penguin Publishing and Macmillan.

As it stands right now Harper Collins, Hatchette and Simon & Schuster now have to disolve thier agreements with Apple concerning book sales and allow other retailers to lower their rates. They are also prohibited to from entering into any new pricing agreements for two years.

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Last modified on 17 May 2012
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