LONG ISLAND, NY – – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued the following statement on the Second Circuit’s decision affirming United States District Judge Denise Cote’s finding that Apple orchestrated a conspiracy among publishers to raise the price of E-books:
“The Court’s decision shows that even the biggest, most powerful companies in the world must play by the same rules as everyone else. This victory takes us a major step toward recovering $400 million that Apple illegally overcharged E-book readers. We will continue to work with our colleagues in other states to ensure that all companies compete fairly with the knowledge that no one is above the law.”
The E-book antitrust cases involved lawsuits brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, 33 states and territories, as well as a related class action. New York, together with Texas and Connecticut, played a leading role in the state A.G. cases during the damages phase of the litigation.
In the damages phase of the case, 33 states and territories, plus private counsel in a related class action, had negotiated a settlement under which the amount that Apple must pay E-book consumers was contingent on what happened in Apple’s appeal of Judge Cote’s finding of liability. If this affirmance becomes final, consumers nationwide will receive $400 million restitution. New York consumers are expected to receive approximately seven percent, or about $28 million, of that amount.
Any amount received by consumers pursuant to the settlement with Apple will be in addition to those amounts already recovered from several E-book publishers. E-book purchasers nationwide have already received compensation from $166 million in settlement funds paid by the five publishers involved in the conspiracy – Penguin Group (USA), Inc. (now part of Penguin Random House); Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan; Hachette Book Group Inc.; HarperCollins Publishers LLC, and Simon & Schuster Inc. Many E-book consumers received these funds through automatic credits sent by Amazon and other E-book retailers.
For New York, this matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Bob Hubbard and Linda Gargiulo; Antitrust Bureau Chief Eric Stock, and Executive Deputy Attorney General Karla G. Sanchez; as well as Andrew Amend, Steven Wu, and New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood.
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