E-book buyers in Idaho could begin receiving account credits or checks this week as part of a settlement reached in a price-fixing lawsuit with publishers, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says.
The antitrust case was filed against Apple, Inc., along with – Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers, LLC, Simon & Schuster, Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The settlement was for nationwide payment of $166 million. Wasden says Idahoans will be credited about $800,000.
“These settlements have a dual effect of bringing restitution for Idaho consumers and readers who were forced to pay higher prices for E-books and restoring competition in the marketplace,” Wasden says.
For consumers, getting an account credit or check will be based on the number of eligible E-books purchased during a specific claims period – April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012. Eligible consumers should review their email for communications from their E-book retailer, or from the Settlement Administrator, about account credits or checks. For more settlement information, consumers should visit: http://www.ebookagsettlements.com.
Apple declined to join the settlement involving the publishers and was convicted in a three-week trial in June 2013. In her decision, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, of the Southern District of New York, concluded that Apple played a central role in facilitating and executing a conspiracy to drop retail price competition in hopes of raising E-book prices,violate state and federal antitrust laws.
A second trial to decide the amount of damages Apple should pay is scheduled for later this year.
“Consumers are entitled to a fair, open and competitive marketplace,” Wasden said. “When a company is found to have violated the antitrust laws, as Apple did here, consumers who have suffered as a consequence are entitled to compensation.”