e-books


'e-books' Articles

Amazon Sending New Round of Credits to E-Book Buyers as Part of Apple Price Fixing Settlement

Customers who purchased a Kindle e-book between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012 may be receiving a credit from Amazon this morning as the retailer continues distributing funds from an antitrust lawsuit levied against Apple back in 2013 by the United States Justice Department. Emails were sent out to eligible customers in the United States this morning, and Amazon has also set up a website that will list available credits for those who are eligible for a refund. Apple, along with five other publishers including HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin, was found guilty of conspiring to inflate the prices of e-books to weaken Amazon's dominant position in the market. While the five publishers settled, Apple held out and appealed several times, but was ultimately ordered to pay a total of $450 million. Apple maintained its innocence throughout the initial trial and appeals, and has argued that its deals with publishers introduced competition to a market that was largely controlled by Amazon. The United States Justice Department did not see it that way, though, as Apple's efforts ultimately raised prices for consumers. Several rounds of refunds have already been distributed as a result of the lawsuit. In 2014, customers received refunds funded by publishers, and in 2016, refunds totaling $400 million, or the bulk of the money paid by Apple, were sent out. This new round of refunds has also been funded by Apple's settlement and comes from $20 million that was earmarked to pay states that were involved in the lawsuit.

Apple to Pay $450 Million E-Book Settlement After Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal

Apple will have to pay a $450 million settlement in the protracted e-books antitrust case, which saw the company found guilty of conspiring with publishers to inflate the prices of e-books back in 2014 (via Bloomberg). In October, Apple submitted an appeal to overturn the guilty ruling, but today the United States Supreme Court declined to question the verdict, meaning Apple must now comply with that 2014 settlement. Specifically, the amount will be broken down to have $400 million paid out to e-book customers, $20 million to the states, and $30 million in the form of legal fees. The case saw Apple fighting an accusation that in 2010 it colluded with five publishers -- HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin -- to fix the prices of e-books in order to become a dominant presence in a market overshadowed by companies like Amazon. Apple has maintained its innocence throughout the initial trial and subsequent appeals, arguing that its deals helped introduce a healthy degree of competition to a market that had been bordering on a monopoly controlled by Amazon. A group of authors submitted an amicus brief supporting such a statement back in December. At the Supreme Court, Apple argued that its actions enhanced competition by providing consumers with a new e-book platform. The company said overall e-book prices have fallen in the years since the introduction of iBookstore. “Following Apple’s entry, output increased, overall prices decreased, and a major new retailer began to compete in a market formerly dominated by a single

Authors Believe Apple's Entry Into E-Book Market Wasn't Anti-Competitive

A coalition of authors and well-known booksellers have come forth to back Apple in a petition to overturn a recent ruling that stated the company was liable in conspiring to fix the prices of electronic books when its iBooks store launched on the iPad in 2010 (via Cult of Mac). Together, the Authors Guild, Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble have filed a 37-page amicus brief that states Apple was in fact enhancing competition and benefiting its customers. “We are pleased to lend our support in this matter, critical to anyone interested in a competitive and diverse literary marketplace,” said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild, in a statement. “We fundamentally question the wisdom of the Second Circuit’s use of antitrust law to punish a business arrangement that demonstrably increased competition in the e-book marketplace.” The brief falls in line with Apple's petition of the Supreme Court to review the case this past October, after first being found guilty of conspiring to artificially inflate the prices of e-books back in 2013, when the case started. The amicus brief filed by the authors and booksellers backs up Apple's attempts at overturning the ruling, stating that a positive outcome for the case is "critical to maintaining a healthy marketplace for the ideas and First Amendment-protected expression that authors and bookstores facilitate." The groups even mention Amazon as more of a "disruptive" force in the e-books market, with a "loss leader" strategy that led to domination over the digital

Apple Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Overturn Guilty Verdict in E-Books Antitrust Case

Apple is asking the United States Supreme Court to overturn the 2013 U.S. Appellate Court ruling that found the company guilty of conspiring with publishers to inflate the prices of e-books, reports Reuters. Apple's petition comes following the loss of a June appeal where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the guilty verdict and maintained Apple violated antitrust laws and colluded with five publishers - HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, and Penguin - to fix e-book prices and unreasonably restrain trade.Apple in its petition said the June decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York contradicted Supreme Court precedent and would "chill innovation and risktaking." "The Second Circuit's decision will harm competition and the national economy," Apple wrote.Should the U.S. Supreme Court uphold the lower court's verdict, Apple will be forced to pay $450 million as part of a settlement with class action lawyers and state district attorneys, with $400 million of that amount earmarked for consumers. Apple reached the settlement in June of 2014 to avoid a lengthy damages trial, but the payout hinged on the outcome of the company's appeal. Though Apple was found guilty, the company has maintained its innocence throughout the dispute. In its appeal, Apple said its efforts "kick-started competition" to deliver "higher output, lower price levels, and accelerated

Apple May Lose Monitor in E-Book Price Fixing Lawsuit

The U.S. Justice Department yesterday recommended that the court-appointed monitor placed on Apple during the price-fixing e-book case that began two years ago does not need to be extended (via Bloomberg). The Justice Department said that it's largely satisfied with Apple's response of reforms and compliance with the antitrust laws, even though it believes the Cupertino-based company had internal fights with the monitor assigned to them -- Michael Bromwich -- to ensure the sale of e-books went as the court appointed. The government on Monday recommended that the monitoring not be extended. In a letter to the Manhattan federal judge who found in 2013 that Apple illegally conspired with publishers to set e-book prices, the U.S. said Apple has “now implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs that were obviously lacking at the time Apple participated in and facilitated the horizontal price-fixing conspiracy found by this court.” Apple admitted that the interactions between the company and its monitor were "rocky at times," but disagreed with the Justice Department's claim of being uncooperative. Apple ultimately feels committed to seeing the case through to the end, stating in a joint letter to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote that “Over the past two years, Apple has developed and implemented a comprehensive, engaging, and effective antitrust compliance program.” Apple in May lost its legal challenge to the appointment of monitor Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general. The relationship between Apple and Bromwich was

Apple Loses Appeal in E-Books Price Fixing Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $450 Million Fine

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today upheld a 2013 decision that found Apple guilty of conspiring with publishers to raise the prices of e-books, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple is now expected to pay a $450 million fine originally set in July 2014 to settle the case, with a majority of that settlement earmarked for consumers as part of a class action lawsuit. Apple filed the appeal in the antitrust case in December 2014, and the outcome was originally expected to favor the iPhone maker, although federal judge Debra Ann Livingston ultimately determined that the company colluded with publishers to fix the prices of e-books. The decision was finalized by a 2-1 ruling in the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Tuesday."We conclude that the district court correctly decided that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among the publishers to raise e-book prices,” wrote Second Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston. The conspiracy “unreasonably restrained trade” in violation of the Sherman Act, the federal antitrust law, the judge wrote.The Wall Street Journal has shared the full-length court document for the

Apple's Bid to Disqualify Antitrust Compliance Monitor Rejected

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York today rejected Apple's bid to disqualify antitrust compliance monitor Michael Bromwich, who was appointed to watch the company since it was found liable of conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices a few years ago, reports Reuters."The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said a lower court judge did not abuse her discretion in rejecting Apple's bid to disqualify Michael Bromwich as monitor, even though some of the company's allegations against him 'give pause.'"In July 2013, Apple lost a significant e-book antitrust case that found the company to have colluded with publishers to raise the price of e-books. As a result, Apple was forced to submit to an external antitrust compliance monitor and $450 million fine as part of a settlement with several class action lawyers and state district attorneys. Last December, the lawsuit entered appeals court as Apple's attempt to overturn the