Kansas Reaches Price Fixing Settlement In E-Book Case

By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas consumers who purchased e-books from two publishers might soon be reading a refund check.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Wednesday that Kansas and 32 other states reached an agreement with Penguin Group and Holtzbrinck Publishers. The states claimed the two companies worked with other major publishers and Apple to control prices in the e-book market.

“Consumers have the right to a fair price, set by the marketplace, for products they purchase,” Schmidt said. “Our office is dedicated to ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace where prices are determined by supply and demand, not by price fixing.”

Consumers nationwide will receive $90 million in compensation from the two companies. Eligible consumers will be contacted and offered either a refund or credit.

Kansas previously settled similar claims against three other publishers – Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers, L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster, Inc. Consumers nationwide will receive another $70 million in compensation from those settlements.

A June trial date is schedule for a Kansas antitrust action based on the same allegations against Apple, Inc.

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