The Office of the Texas Attorney General has taken a swipe three major US publishers for alleged price fixing on E-Books.
According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott his office has secured a $69 Million agreement with Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. for alleged price fixing. According to Abbott, “Under national agreements led by Texas and Connecticut and joined by the attorneys general of 53 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. must modify their product distribution model and refund customers who overpaid for E-books after major publishing houses conspired to artificially inflate prices.”
In a statement Abbott said, “Unlawful collusion and price-fixing not only violates antitrust laws, it is anti-competitive and inconsistent with the free market approach that is critical to our economy. In this case, competition was undermined when publishers colluded to artificially set prices that should have been determined by the free market. Today’s settlements provide refunds to customers who paid artificially inflated prices for E-books and prohibit publishers from colluding, so that retail price competition is restored within the E-book market.”
The proposed settlement will:
• Compensate customers who purchased E-books from any of the five publishers between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. Customers in Texas are expected to receive up to $5.5 million in total compensation.
• Begin payments 30 days after the court approval of the settlement becomes final.
• Pay approximately $7.5 million to States for fees and costs.
• Terminate existing agreements with certain E-book outlets and grant those outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their E-book titles.
To find out if you are eligible for a refund contact your supplier or the Texas Attorney General’s Office at www. texasattorneygeneral.gov