Schuette Announces Michigan Wins Apple E-Books Price-Fixing Suit Contact:
Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
July 11, 2013
LANSING - Attorney
General Bill Schuette today announced that a federal court found Apple Inc.
unlawfully conspired with major U.S. publishers to raise the prices of
electronic books. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
ruled Apple's role in an E-books price-fixing scheme violated federal and state
the good faith of consumers, and harms the pocketbooks of hard-working Michigan
families," said Schuette. "This case should serve as a cautionary tale for any
companies considering illegal price-fixing schemes at the expense of consumers."
Attorney General Schuette and 30 other state attorneys general and the attorneys
general of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico won a suit claiming Apple
Inc. conspired with five major publishers to artificially raise e-book prices. The
order was issued after a three-week civil antitrust trial before U.S. District
Court Judge Denise Cote, which began June 3, 2013 and ended June 20, 2013.
The court found that
Apple "played a central role in facilitating and executing" the conspiracy to
raise E-book prices - and that "Apple's orchestration" of the conspiracy was
necessary to its success.
trial did not address the issue of monetary damages, which will be the subject
of a future proceeding.
previously settled with five other publishers: Penguin Group (USA), Hachette
Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Simon & Schuster Inc., and
Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan for illegally conspiring to increase
the retail price of e-books. The alleged collusion caused prices for e-book
editions of New York Times Best Sellers to increase from $9.99 to $12.99 and
$14.99. Consumers nationwide will receive $166 million in compensation as a
result of the settlements with the five publishers. The settlement agreement
also precludes the publishers from further conspiring or sharing competitively
sensitive information with their competitors or entering into any kind of
contract that could undermine the effectiveness of the settlement agreement.
purchased an e-book with an artificially inflated price from the five
publishers, you should have already received a notice from your retailer.
Consumers can file a complaint at:
Antitrust Reform Act (MARA) prohibits price-fixing agreements because such
agreements undermine competitive market forces, causing artificially higher
prices for consumers.
consumer has evidence of an actual agreement to fix prices in any market, they
are encouraged to contact Attorney General Bill Schuette's Consumer Protection
Division at 1-877-765-8388 or file a complaint online at