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Karl A. Racine
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

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Penguin Settlement Brings DC Consumers' Share of E-Book Case to $613,000

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – District of Columbia consumers will get about $160,000 in compensation under a multistate antitrust settlement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc., a major U.S. book publisher, D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan announced today.  The case involved alleged price-fixing and collusion in the electronic book (E-book) market.   A multistate and D.C. lawsuit charged that Penguin colluded with other major publishers and Apple Inc. to manipulate prices in the E-book market.  When finalized and approved by the presiding federal court in New York, the settlement will grant E-book outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their E-book titles.  

The District previously settled with four other publishers in this case: Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Simon & Schuster Inc., and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan over similar allegations.   District of Columbia consumers will receive an estimated $613,000 from the combined settlements, including the Penguin matter, once all required court approvals are secured.

Most consumers who are eligible to benefit from the settlements bought E-books from Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, Sony, or Google. They will get a notice via the email address they have on file with their E-book accounts.  

The multistate antitrust action against Apple Inc. remains pending, with a trial scheduled for June 3, 2013.

Ted Gest, Public Information Officer
[email protected]