Some Alaskan readers will be seeing new dollar signs in their online accounts following a settlement with top e-book publishers.
Alaska Attorney General Mike Geraghty and attorney generals from 32 other states filed a lawsuit against Apple, Inc. and five of its biggest e-book publishers: Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The lawsuit comes after the discovery of a conspiracy to “eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, in violation of federal and state antitrust laws”, according to the release issued by the AG’s office.
All five publishers settled to avoided incurred costs, but Apple, Inc. declined, instigating a 3-week investigation by the U.S. District Court in June 2013 that determined Apple, Inc. was central to the execution of the conspiracy. A second trial to determine how much Apple, Inc. must pay for the violation and compensation is set for this summer.
Geraghty says many Alaskans will be receiving portions of the $750,000 Alaskan residents were granted out of the $166 million lawsuit against the publishers, and may possibly see more once the trial against Apple, Inc. is over.
“Consumers are entitled to a fair, open and competitive marketplace,” said Geraghty in a release. “When a company violates the antitrust laws, consumers who have suffered as a consequence of that violation are entitled to compensation.”
Amazon customers had already begun receiving emails alerting them to the credit being issued to them for purchases of books from the five publishers through their site. Credit issued is dependent on the date of purchase and the type of e-book purchased. E-book types are separated into two categories for the lawsuit, New York Times bestsellers, and non-New York Times bestsellers, which will each be compensated with $3.17 or $.73 respectively.