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Apple also facing class actions over e-book prices in Canada

updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri April 20, 2012

iBookstore may be forced to change in Canada too

The US lawsuit over e-book pricing was quietly preceded by civil lawsuits in Canada. An interview with Quebec attorney Normand Painchaud confirmed to the Montreal Gazette that he had asked for class action status on a lawsuit against Apple and the same five major publishers targeted by the US government. Other lawsuits have been filed in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.

All three share the US Department of Justice's view that Apple and publishers were colluding over the iBookstore's use of the agency model, where publishers choose the price, as well as the no-lower-price clause. The iPad designer along with Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster had artificially hiked prices from $10 or less to as much as $14.

As a class action, the lawsuit would demand damages for any Canadian who had shopped from the iBookstore on or after April 1, 2010. Such lawsuits usually lead to small payouts to customers that actively seek out a claim, but it could be enough to compensate for the difference or to pay for a full book.

Apple has long insisted that it was breaking up Amazon's monopoly through the deals it made and that it hadn't actively colluded with other publishers. The argument isn't as strong in Canada as in the US, however, as the Kindle Store only came late to Canada and didn't get the 90 percent share that it had right before the iBookstore and Barnes & Noble's Nook Store came into being.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008



    EBooks are not a necessity like food, shelter, etc. So if you don't like the price of something, don't buy it. Millions of people perceived that Apple's computers cost more and so bought PCs instead. Isn't there a parallel here? No one is forcing you to read, no one is forcing you to buy. I don't know why judges accept these cases. The lawyers often make HUGE amounts compared to the few bucks the people in the suit get should they even win. There are times when i was younger I had thought of becoming a lawyer and now I now the kinds of cases I would like to have handled: refuting the claims of ambulance chasing lawyers for companies like Apple against this sort of tripe.
    Someone told me the other day: If it wasn't for lawyers, we wouldn't need lawyers!

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    The question appears to be

    only one of higher prices. Would the same people who filed this/these cases have done so if the prices had gone lower?

    It would be interesting to see the price for the paper book and the price of the eBook.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Yay for monopolies.

    Let's just give all of our money to Amazon and be done with it. That would make the governments happy right?

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