Antitrust lawsuits were filed by Class Plaintiffs and 33 Attorneys General (“Plaintiffs”). These lawsuits claim there was a
conspiracy involving Apple and five top U.S. publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, (“Settling Publishers") to fix and raise retail prices of E-books. The cases are known as In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 and The State of Texas, et al., v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12-Civ-03394. These lawsuits were brought on behalf of consumers who purchased one or more qualifying E-books published by the Settling Publishers from April 1, 2010 through May 21, 2012 (“Eligible Consumers”). Apple denies that it did anything wrong.
The five Settling Publishers settled these claims before trial, resulting in $166 million in payments being made available to consumers (See Question 4).
A trial in the Attorney General lawsuit against Apple was held in June 2013. The District Court found Apple liable for violating antitrust laws, and set a date for a second trial to determine the amount of damages, if any, Apple should pay (the “damages trial”). Apple denies that it did anything wrong and appealed the Court’s finding of liability.
Apple, the Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs agreed to settle these lawsuits subject to the final outcome of Apple’s appeal.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s ruling and the Supreme Court has refused to hear Apple’s appeal. Accordingly, the Apple settlement has gone into effect.