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- Issue: Antitrust violations
Lieff Cabraser is investigating possible illegal conduct by Apple and major publishers to raise and fix the prices of eBook versions of hardcover best sellers and new releases at artificially high levels.
Background on eBooks Investigation
The collusion allegedly occurred among Apple and Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins Publishers Inc., Macmillan Publishers Inc., Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Random House Inc., and Simon & Schuster, Inc. ("Publisher Defendants").
The conspiracy began after online eBook retailer Amazon.com ("Amazon") implemented a $9.99 retail price ceiling for any eBook. Amazon's $9.99 pricing policy threatened to lead to lower wholesale prices for eBooks, motivating the Defendants to implement a method to fix eBook prices.
On January 23, 2010, industry newsletter Publishers Lunch reported that Apple had negotiated agreements with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster to switch from a wholesaler-retailer model to an "Agency model" for eBook sales, allegedly forcing consumers to pay an artificially higher price for eBooks much higher than Amazon’s set ceiling price.
On January 27, 2010, Apple announced a multi-function tablet device called the iPad. One of the functions of the iPad was the ability to read eBooks, putting Apple into direct competition with Amazon.
The conduct by the Publisher Defendants and Apple harmed consumers by forcing them to pay higher costs for eBooks than they should have.
Contact Lieff Cabraser
eBook purchasers who wish to report their experiences or to learn more about the litigation can contact an antitrust attorney at Lieff Cabraser or call toll-free at 1 (800) 541-7358 for a free case review.
About Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, with offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville, is a nationally recognized law firm committed to advancing the rights of investors, halting anticompetitive conduct and promoting corporate responsibility.
Since 2003, The National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the nation. In compiling the list, The National Law Journal examined recent verdicts and settlements in addition to overall track records. Lieff Cabraser is one of only two plaintiffs' law firms in the United States to receive this honor for the last ten consecutive years.