Federal, state regulators make remedies for Apple's e-book price-fixing

August 2
12:31 PM 2013

On Friday, the US Department of Justice and 33 US states said that Apple Inc deserved a five-year ban from participating in anti-competitive e-book distribution deals. They added that the tech titan must end its enterprise agreements with five main publishers with which Apple plotted to raise e-book costs.

Last month, Denise Cote, a US District Judge, discovered that the Cupertino, California-based company played a major role in a scheme with publishers to increase the prices of e-books. This led to the decision of the federal and state regulators. Furthermore, they wanted Apple to allow retailers like Inc and Barnes & Noble Inc to supply links so that the consumers would be able to compare the prices. This proposal would transpire for two years.

The regulators allegedly claimed that Apple conspired to undercut the e-book dominance of Amazon. This caused some prices to climb to US$12.99 or US$14.99 from only US$9.99 that Amazon was charging.

CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster Inc, Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group Inc, News Corp's HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Pearson Plc's Penguin Group Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH's Macmillan were the five accused publishers. Only the tech giant went to the trial. However, the publishers consort to paying up to US$166 million for the consumers' benefit.

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