Publishers agree to $69 million settlement over e-Book pricing

publishers agree to 69 million settlement over e book pricingIf you purchased an e-Book from Hachette, Harper Collins or Simon & Schuster between April 2010 and May of this year, you can pretty much count on seeing some money back from your purchase, as the three publishers have finally reached an agreement on a settlement amount to be paid to customers after settling with authorities over charges of price-fixing electronic releases earlier this year.

While the US Department of Justice is still pursuing legal action against Apple, Penguin and Macmillan over accusations of the publishers coming to an illegal agreement with Apple over the price of releases offered on iBooks – Attorneys representing the two publishers and Apple are due in court in June next year to contest the charges – Hachette, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster quickly moved to settle after charges were filed against all parties last April. As a result of that settlement, it was announced today that the three publishers have agreed to contribute a collective $69,000,000 to a fund for customers affected by the alleged price-fixing.

The announcement was made by Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper today. In a statement, his office said that “Attorney General Cooper and 54 attorneys general in other states, districts and U.S. territories have reached an antitrust settlement with three of the largest book publishers in the United States,” with the settlement the end result of a two-year investigation by the states and the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “That investigation developed evidence that the five largest American publishers… conspired to end e-Book retailers’ freedom to compete on price by taking control of pricing from e-Book retailers and substantially increasing the prices that consumers paid for e-Books,” the statement continued, suggesting that such actions “prevented retail price competition resulting in consumers paying millions of dollars more for their e-books.”

“This collective action should send a strong message that competitors cannot get away with price-fixing,” Attorney General Cooper is quoted as saying in the announcement, adding “We will do everything within our power to stop competitors from colluding to artificially raise the costs the prices by millions of dollars more for some of the most popular e-Book titles.”

In addition to the $69 million fund, the three publishers have agreed to cover the legal expenses of the states bringing the charges against them, estimated to be somewhere in the region of $7.5 million, and also to terminate existing agreements with specific retailers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble, a move that will allow retailers the ability to reduce e-Book pricing at their own discretion. Additionally, the agreement prohibits the sharing of “competitively sensitive information” regarding e-Book pricing with competitors for a five year period, as well as making forbidden any kind of Most Favored Nation clause that “could undermine the effectiveness of the settlement agreement.”


Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Smart Home

Samsung washing machine recall results in $6.55M class-action settlement

Samsung settled a class action lawsuit involving more than 30 top-loading washing machine models for $6.55 million. The suit alleged the machine tops could detach and explode. Original owners may qualify for refunds and cash settlements.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Legion'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

Use one of these password managers to help protect yourself online

The internet can be a scary place, especially if you don't have a proper password manager. This guide will show you the best password managers you can get right now, including both premium and free options.

Is the 5G spectrum harmful to our health? Experts say, 'Don't freak out'

There's plenty of consumer anxiety about radiofrequency (RF) radiation, specifically around millimeter waves (mmWave) used on 5G networks, but is it based in reality? We asked the FDA to give us its official view on the subject.

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 

Russia will ‘unplug’ from the internet as part of a cyber-defense test

Authorities across Russia are planning on unplugging the country from the global internet as part of a test of its cyber defenses. The disconnection will briefly keep all internet traffic inside the country.

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Gmail adds lots of new functionality to its right-click menu

Right-click on an email in Gmail and the list of actions is pretty limited. That's about to change, though, as Google has just announced it's expanding the list of options to make its email client that little bit more useful.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

File Transfer Protocol explained: What FTP is and what it does

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," and it's used to transfer files online. Most internet users don't need it, but web developers use it constantly. Here's what FTP is, how it works, and how you can get started using it.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.