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Political Bookworm
Posted at 06:00 PM ET, 08/10/2011

Publishers, Apple sued over e-book pricing

UPDATE: Mark Firmani of Firmani + Associates, which is handling public relations and marketing for the lawyers who filed this lawsuit, contacted me taking issue with the part of the blog that was based on a story from the Christian Science Monitor. Here’s what he said (you may want to read the blog item below first to understand the context of his remarks):

“First, there is action from the government – at least two state AGs have begun investigations into this issue. It is also worth noting that officials of the EU have seized records on this issue as well.

“Second, the way these class actions work is the attorneys — who hope to represent the class, in this case anyone who has purchased a book at the inflated price — need only name one plaintiff to begin the action. The court then looks to see if the claim would apply to the larger class. It is common, then, to only have one (in this case, two) named plaintiffs. I can tell you that since the case was filed, the firm has received hundreds if not thousands of emails from consumers wanting to be a part of the litigation. By calling into question the two plaintiffs, and their geographic separation shows an ignorance of the legal process, and unfairly taints [the Christian Science Monitor’s] mostly factual story.”

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Publishers, Apple sued over e-book pricing

Five book publishers and Apple have been sued in a class-action lawsuit that alleges they colluded to drive up the price of e-books. The suit claims HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster worked with Apple to break Amazon’s discount pricing strategy and help Apple’s iPad compete with the Kindle.

The law firm Hagens Berman, which has posted the complaint on its Web site, filed the suit, saying “the complaint alleges that Apple believed that it needed to neutralize the Kindle when it entered the e-book market with its own e-reader, the iPad, and feared that one day the Kindle might challenge the iPad by digitally distributing other media like music and movies.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports that “there are a few odd things about this lawsuit. One is that the plaintiffs are two seemingly unconnected people from different parts of the U.S. If this really is an anti-trust issue, why aren’t Amazon or the FTC bringing it to court?”

By  |  06:00 PM ET, 08/10/2011

 
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