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Judge finds Apple conspired to raise e-book prices

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A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Wednesday that Apple Inc. colluded with major U.S. publishers to artificially raise the retail prices of e-books.

The lawsuit, in which Indiana joined in May 2012, alleged that Apple, MacMillan and Penguin Group planned to raise the prices of e-books, violating state and federal antitrust laws. Once Apple joined the e-book market in 2010, the suit claims that the two publishers conspired with Apple to shift their distribution model from retailer outlets like Amazon to a model that would allow publishers to set their prices and sell the books directly to customers. This allowed the publishers to charge more for the e-books, which forced other e-book retail outlets to increase their prices.

The plaintiffs – the U.S. Department of Justice and 32 other states –  sought damages, restitution, civil penalties and injunctive relief.

“Federal and state laws are designed to ensure the market remains competitive and fair,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “This ruling emphasizes the importance of accountability in the E-book marketplace and highlights how the states and the federal government can work together to protect consumers.”

A separate trial on damages will be held at a later date.

The plaintiffs have already settled with five major U.S. publishers regarding allegations relating to the same conduct. Zoeller said together those settlements will result in Indiana residents receiving $2.7 million in refunds.

More information about the refund process can be found at www.ebooksagsettlements.com or by calling the Indiana attorney general’s office at 1-800-382-5516.

 

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  1. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

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