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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:40 am 
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Thread title changed.

Wall Street Journal

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NEW YORK—The U.S. filed an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Apple Inc. AAPL +0.65% and five of the nation's largest publishers, alleging they conspired to limit competition for the pricing of e-books.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, alleges Apple and the publishers reached an agreement where retail price competition would cease, retail e-books prices would increase significantly and Apple would be guarantee a 30% "commission" on each e-book sold.

A settlement involving some of the publishers is expected to be filed Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to discuss "a significant antitrust matter" at a press conference later Wednesday.

"Defendants' ongoing conspiracy and agreement have caused e-book consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for e-books than they otherwise would have paid," the lawsuit said.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:13 am 
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A legal discussion.

CNET

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Will Apple's game plan beat the trustbusters? ...

The relationship of competition

Fair competition is at the very heart of the Justice Department's case against Apple and the publishers. The government accused the publishers of illegally holding private meetings to fix e-book prices, and later teaming up with Apple to crack Amazon's dominance of the market. Bundling all the companies together in one complaint has its own problems, though. Indeed, Hurwitz noted that Apple is not a competitor with e-book providers.

"If e-book publishers decided to collude and break the law, that's not Apple's problem. They were free to break the law and come to Apple as a cartel," he said. "That's not illegal on Apple's part."

The relationship between Apple and the publishers is crucial as far as antitrust laws are concerned, says Joseph Bauer, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame. Bauer noted that under the very first section of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act -- which Apple and others are alleged to be violating -- there is a marked distinction between business relationships, which are broken into two categories: vertical and horizontal. Where horizontal covers the behavior between or among competitors, vertical is that behavior between suppliers and customers.

"Historically, the antitrust law has been much harsher in dealing with horizontal behavior," Bauer said in a phone interview Friday. "At its core, the allegations by the DOJ are against the five publishers who allegedly conspired to adopt uniform pricing policies. That might be different, and only slightly less problematic from actually having agreed on price."

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:05 am 
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CBS News

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How Apple's battle over e-books helps consumers

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY The battle lines over e-book pricing are dug deep, and the verbal attacks are flying. The Department of Justice last week sued Apple (AAPL) and five major publishers for alleged price-fixing. Apple, in turn, says it and the publishers were trying to break Amazon's (AMZN) "monopolistic grip on the publishing industry."

Some claim that the ultimate result will be to let Amazon dictate e-book prices for everyone. Others say that the government's move may be good for readers, because prices will drop. But looking at this through a consumer's eyes misses what it really going on: a battle for control that pits an old business model against an emerging one. And this is one case where the business establishment may lose, no matter what happens. ...

Consumers say heads we win, tails you lose

Does Amazon want to control the industry? Absolutely. But it also provides an approach to self-publishing that a growing number of authors are embracing. They don't see that there's anything left to lose in the conventional publishing model, no matter who sells the titles. Instead, a growing number have decided to sell their own books through Amazon and Barnes & Noble (BKS).

Ironically, consumers are likely to win no matter what happens with the case because the self-publishing gate is open and the horses are out of the barn. If the government wins, Amazon discounts like crazy, twisting the arms of publishers and other retailers like Apple. Prices drop, publishers become even less effective in selling books, and writers increasingly go off on their own. And most writers can sell e-books for much less and still make more money per copy than they ever could with a publisher.

If Apple and the publishers that haven't inked a deal with the DOJ prevail, consumers still win. Publishers push their prices up for the near future and continue to absorb as much profit as they can. People tire of the prices of e-books and start buying more independently produced titles. Bigger names in writing notice the hoi polloi making significant money, so they go independent as well, reducing prices to levels that bring in the sales they want -- and consumers still win.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 8:03 pm 
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This is a US District Court class action in New York (different from the DOJ case). I don't know who the plaintiffs are.

Economic Times (India)

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US class-action ebook price-fixing suit can proceed

NEW YORK: A judge on 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.

The suit, file last August, is separate from a US government complaint last month which makes similar allegations, that Apple colluded with publishers to boost the price of ebooks and wrest control from Amazon.

The evidence presented of an agreement between Apple and the publishers "is unlawful per se because it is, at root, a horizontal price restraint," Judge Denise Cote of US District Court in New York said in an opinion, which allows the case to move forward. ...

"There are ample allegations that Apple became an integral member of this conspiracy and well understood that the upshot of its participation would be the elimination of price competition at the retail level, forcing consumers to... 'pay a little more' for ebooks," the judge wrote. ...

New documents filed in the government case suggest Jobs played a key role in the conspiracy and told one publisher in an email, "Hold back your books from Amazon" and "Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99."


Adding a little more info from the New York Times:

Quote:
In denying the request, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court in Manhattan wrote that the lawsuit “plausibly alleges that these motives converged to cause the publishing defendants and Apple to join a single conspiracy to eliminate price competition at the retail level and raise the prices consumers would pay for e-books.”

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a Seattle-based law firm, filed the lawsuit in August, seeking compensation for a class of people, namely consumers who have purchased e-books.

Book publishers first came under scrutiny by the Department of Justice and others in 2010, when five of the six biggest publishers moved from a wholesale pricing model to an agency model, effectively setting their own prices for e-books. The new system disrupted Amazon’s practice of charging $9.99 for most newly released and best-selling e-books.

Steve Berman, a lawyer for Hagens Berman, applauded the judge’s decision in a statement. “We thought that Judge Cote’s ruling was spot on, especially when she noted that we’ve gone above and beyond in illustrating the legitimacy of our case,” Mr. Berman said. “We are eager to push forward with the case.”

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 10:38 pm 
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And at the end of this suit, American consumers will be worse off because American courts side with American consumers on important cases almost never and as long as kkkorporations purchase court rulings American consumers will continue to lose.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 6:46 am 
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John Thomas8 wrote:
And at the end of this suit, American consumers will be worse off because American courts side with American consumers on important cases almost never and as long as kkkorporations purchase court rulings American consumers will continue to lose.

That sounds awfully close to the arguments that the birthers use for losing all of their cases.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Ars Technica

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Macmillan, sole e-book publishing holdout, settles with Justice

Back in December, Penguin became the penultimate publisher to settle with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in the alleged e-book price-fixing scheme. On Friday, Macmillan and the DOJ came to a settlement agreement, leaving only Apple in the government’s sights.

Macmillan has agreed to other sales restrictions, including a prohibition until December 2014 on entering into new discounting agreements for e-book titles. As others who have agreed to similar settlements, Macmillan must regularly report to the DOJ on future e-book ventures and any communications it has with its rivals.

“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, chief of staff and counsel at the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, in a statement. “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 bestsellers, we expect the prices of many of Macmillan’s e-books will also decline.”

The DOJ still has an ongoing case against Apple—a trial date has been set for June 2013.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:57 am 
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Reuters

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U.S. takes Apple to trial over e-books price-fixing

(Reuters) - Apple Inc goes to trial Monday over allegations by federal and state authorities that it conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books.

The trial pits the maker of the popular iPad and iPhone against the U.S. Justice Department in a case that tests how Internet retailers interact with content providers.

"This case will effectively set the rules for Internet commerce," said David Balto, a former policy director for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. ...

Apple is going to trial alone after the five publishers agreed to eliminate prohibitions on wholesale discounts and to pay a collective $164 million to benefit consumers. ...

Based on a comment by the presiding judge at the final hearing before the trial, Apple may face an uphill battle.

"I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books," U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who is hearing the case without a jury, said on May 23.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Reuters

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Judge rules Apple conspired to raise prices on e-books

(Reuters) - In a sweeping rejection of Apple Inc's strategy for selling electronic books on the Internet, a federal judge ruled that the company conspired with five major publishers to raise the retail prices of e-books.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan found "compelling evidence" that Apple violated federal antitrust law by playing a "central role" in a conspiracy with the publishers to eliminate retail price competition and raise e-book prices.

The decision could expose Apple to substantial damages. It is a victory for the U.S. Department of Justice and the 33 U.S. states and territories that brought the civil antitrust case.

Apple was accused of pursuing the conspiracy to undercut online retailer Amazon.com Inc's e-book dominance, causing some prices to rise to $12.99 or $14.99 from the $9.99 that Amazon charged. Amazon once held a 90 percent market share.

"Apple chose to join forces with the publisher defendants to raise e-book prices and equipped them with the means to do so," Cote said in a 159-page decision. "Without Apple's orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did."

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Holy Moley! The Holder Justice Department wins an antitrust suit?

Man bites dog.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:34 pm 
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Piffle wrote:
Holy Moley! The Holder Justice Department wins an antitrust suit?

Man bites dog.


Where the hell is Dogbite in all this????? 8-) 8-)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Piffle wrote:
Holy Moley! The Holder Justice Department wins an antitrust suit?

Man bites dog.


You took the words out of my mouth.

It's nice to see that anti-trust laws actually still exist.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:00 pm 
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Don't worry. There are still appeals. And SCOTUS hates antitrust protections.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Sterngard Friegen wrote:
Don't worry. There are still appeals. And SCOTUS hates antitrust protections.


Apple may settle. Also, it's more likely they just drag out the appeals until the new Republican President comes in and stops enforcing anti-trust again, just like Bush did with Microsoft.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Reuters

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U.S., states seek limits on Apple over e-book price-fixing

(Reuters) - Apple Inc should face several restrictions to protect consumers and promote competition after a judge found it illegally conspired to raise e-book prices, federal and state officials said on Friday.

The changes proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and 33 U.S. states and territories will be reviewed by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, who on July 10 concluded that Apple violated antitrust law by playing a "central role" in a conspiracy with five major publishers to raise e-book prices.

"Under the department's proposed order, Apple's illegal conduct will cease, and Apple and its senior executives will be prevented from conspiring to thwart competition," said Bill Baer, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division.

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Cupertino, California-based company has said it did not conspire to fix prices and planned to appeal Cote's decision.

A hearing on remedies is scheduled for August 9 and a damages trial may follow.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:45 am 
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Offtopic :
Apple has been getting some unwanted attention over across the pond as well, for having a pretty tough stance on what they will and will not publish. A Danish writer wrote a pair of books detailing the rise and fall of the hippie movement in Denmark. They were very well recieved in physical form, but when he moved to publish it via iBooks, he was told that would never happen. The reason? The spirit of the age dictated a lack of upper body clothing for the females, and the author had included pictures demonstrating this. And Apple won't publish "pornographic images" on iBooks. The author tried to appeal to common sense and even offered to cover up the offending breasts with little red apples, but still no dice. Naturally, this brought the combined Danish world press to their feet in outrage...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:50 am 
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Reuters

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Apple hit with U.S. injunction in e-books antitrust case

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge who found Apple Inc liable for conspiring to fix e-book prices entered an injunction on Friday to bar the iPad maker from further antitrust violations.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said Apple could not enter into agreements with five major U.S. publishers that would impede its ability to reduce e-book retail prices or offer price discounts.

The judge also said she would appoint an external monitor to review Apple's antitrust compliance policies, procedures and training for two years.

The terms of the judgment will expire after five years, but Cote's order allows for extensions in one-year increments if necessary.

The injunction followed a July 10 ruling by Cote finding Apple conspired with five publishers to undermine e-book pricing established by the dominant retailer in the market, Amazon.com Inc.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:11 pm 
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A nice surprise email this morning.

Quote:
eBooks Antitrust Settlement Information

Good news! You are entitled to a credit of $58.65 for some of your past Kindle book purchases. The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks.

You don't have to do anything to claim your credit, we have already added your credit to your Amazon account. We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher. The credit applied to your purchase will appear in your order summary. If your account does not reflect this credit, please contact Amazon's customer service.

For more information about the settlements, please visit http://www.amazon.com/ebooksettlements

Your credit is valid for one year and will expire after 03/31/2015. If you have not used your credit, we will send you another email 90 days before it expires to remind you that it is still available.

Thanks for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:13 pm 
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Definitely beats a sharp stick in the eye... :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Every $58.65 is $58.65 \:D/

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Got one too ($13.89).

But yay! Since I mostly buy $.99 to $2.99 books, this will get me some for sure.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Adelante wrote:
A nice surprise email this morning.

Quote:
eBooks Antitrust Settlement Information

Good news! You are entitled to a credit of $58.65 for some of your past Kindle book purchases. The credit results from legal settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks.

You don't have to do anything to claim your credit, we have already added your credit to your Amazon account. We will automatically apply your available credit to your next purchase of a Kindle book or print book sold by Amazon.com, regardless of publisher. The credit applied to your purchase will appear in your order summary. If your account does not reflect this credit, please contact Amazon's customer service.

For more information about the settlements, please visit http://www.amazon.com/ebooksettlements

Your credit is valid for one year and will expire after 03/31/2015. If you have not used your credit, we will send you another email 90 days before it expires to remind you that it is still available.

Thanks for being a Kindle customer.

The Amazon Kindle Team

You must read more books than I do... I only got $28.26. But I'll take it!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:03 am 
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$17.76 and it used to pre-order more books. New Mary Higgins-Clark book comes out next week.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:22 am 
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Wall St Journal

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Apple Reaches Settlement on E-Books Suit

Apple Inc. AAPL -0.36% has reached a settlement in a civil class-action lawsuit pertaining to the pricing of e-books, according to a filing with a New York court on Monday.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, Steve Berman, an attorney representing consumers and some U.S. states, said Apple and the plaintiffs reached an agreement in principle. The exact terms of the settlement are under seal and need to be approved by the court.

The plaintiffs had been seeking $840 million from Apple, claiming that the company overcharged consumers by $280 million for e-books and that it should have to pay three times that amount. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

The settlement is contingent on the result of Apple's appeal of last year's antitrust ruling by Judge Cote that Apple colluded with five major U.S. publishers to drive up the e-book prices.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Wall Street Journal

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Apple to Pay Up to $400 Million to Settle E-Books Suit

Apple Inc. AAPL +0.74% has agreed to pay as much as $400 million to settle a civil class-action lawsuit related to the pricing of e-books, contingent on the consumer electronics giant's appeal of last year's antitrust case.

Apple on Wednesday continued to deny that it conspired to fix e-book pricing and said it would keep fighting. A spokesman added the company did nothing wrong.

The announcement from the New York attorney general's office comes a month after an attorney representing consumers and some U.S. states told a federal judge that Apple and the plaintiffs had reached an agreement in principle to settle the suit. Thirty-three states and territories took part in the litigation. ...

Mr. Schneiderman's office said the amount Apple ends up paying is contingent on Apple's appeal of a federal court's finding last July that it violated antitrust laws by conspiring with five publishers to raise the prices of e-books. If the ruling is affirmed, Apple will have to pay as much as $400 million.

If Apple's appeal is successful, however, the company will be on the hook for $50 million if there is a retrial, and it won't have to pay anything if it is found not to have violated antitrust laws, according to the attorney general's office.

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