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Eye On Boise

Thu., May 23, 2013, 2:01 p.m.

Settlement over pricing will bring restitution to Idaho e-book purchasers

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced two more settlements with e-book publishers, entitling Idahoans who purchased e-books to $485,000 in restitution. It's part of a 33-state settlement, and still awaits federal court approval; it involves allegations that Penguin and MacMillan conspired with other book publishers and Apple Inc. to manipulate prices for e-books. “These settlements have a dual effect of gaining restitution for Idaho consumers forced to pay higher prices for e-books and restoring competition in the e-book market by promoting competition,” Wasden said. Similar settlements were reached earlier with three other e-book publishers; click below for Wasden's full announcement.

STATE OF IDAHO

OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

LAWRENCE WASDEN


For Immediate Release

May 23, 2013

 


Idaho Consumers to receive $485,000 from e-book Antitrust Settlement

 (Boise) - Idahoans are expected to receive up to $485,000 in additional restitution as a result of two settlement agreements, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced.  Idaho, along with 32 other states and territories, entered settlement agreements with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. (“Penguin”) and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan (“Macmillan”) to resolve allegations that Penguin and Macmillan were part of a conspiracy with other major publishers and Apple Inc. to manipulate electronic book (“e-book”) prices in violation of state antitrust law.

 “These settlements have a dual effect of gaining restitution for Idaho consumers forced to pay higher prices for e-books and restoring competition in the e-book market by promoting competition,” Attorney General Wasden said. 

The settlement agreements must be approved by the U.S. District Court.  When approved, the settlement agreements will grant e-book outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles.  Penguin and Macmillan have also agreed to alter their business practices to restore competition in the e-book market.  The settlements will provide $75 million from Penguin and $20 million from Macmillan for restitution to eligible e-book purchasers nationwide.

Idaho previously settled with publishers Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, and Simon & Schuster Inc., alleging the same conduct.  In total, Idaho consumers will be entitled to approximately $832,000 in restitution as a result of the settlements with the five e-book publishers.  The trial with Apple will begin in June 2013.

 

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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