Printed from

Simon & Schuster settles with states in price fixing suit

updated 10:15 pm EDT, Thu May 17, 2012

Federal complaint dropped, civil suit pending

One of the defendants dealing with multiple antitrust lawsuits has settled the overall complaint filed by many states' attorneys general. As a result, Judge Denise Cote granted a motion on Tuesday to dismiss Simon & Schuster from the federal complaint. The terms of the settlement have not been provided.

Simon & Schuster joins HarperCollins and Hachette with state-level settlements. Defendants that refuse to settle and deny any wrongdoing in the case are Apple, Macmillan Publishers, and the Penguin Group.

The suit was originally filed by the attorneys general from Texas and 15 other states. More states joined as the suit progressed -- 29 states are now involved. The plaintiffs in the complaints allege that Apple and the publishing houses worked together to manipulate e-book prices illegally and limit Amazon's control over the market at the same time.

A migration to an agency model, meaning multiple companies (the book publishers) acting through one company (Apple), is the core of the case. This standard model lets the publishers set book prices as a vehicle to avoid price wars. The defendants say their actions were in defense against Amazon's near monopoly of the market. Prior to 2010, Amazon possessed 90 percent of the e-book market. Amazon's e-book market share is currently estimated at 60 percent.

A class-action lawsuit on behalf of consumers is duplicating the state and federal case. Earlier this week, Apple and the publishers tried to get the complaint tossed out, but Judge Cote believes that Apple circumvented the openness of the e-book market by assisting the publishers to price fix, rather than competing independently. Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Hachette are still named in the civil suit, regardless of having dealt with the complaint at the state and federal level.

By Electronista Staff


  1. charlituna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2009


    winning. not

    great. So the publishers are being banned from selling on Apple's store because it uses the agency model. Amazon will be allowed to continue their predatory pricing which will piss off the publishers and they will refuse to sell their books in electronic forms. And the consumers lose out on any choice between digital and paper formats.


Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Asus Chromebook C300

When Chromebooks hit the market back in 2011, consumers didn't know what to do with them. The low-cost laptops, powered by Google's Ch ...

Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that can do everything a user requires is a task that can take some study. Trying to decide on in-ear ...

Lemur BlueDriver

"Oh no, the check engine light is on…again! What one of the hundreds of reasons could it be this time? Probably going to cost a fort ...



Most Commented


Popular News