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Multistate eBook Complaint

Multistate eBook Complaint

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Published by JoshLowensohn

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Published by: JoshLowensohn on Apr 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/23/2014

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INTHEUNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTFORTHEWESTERNDISTRICTOFTEXASAUSTINDIVISION
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THESTATEOFTEXAS;THESTATEOFCONNECTICUT;THESTATEOFALASKA;THESTATEOFARIZONA;THESTATEOFCOLORADO;THESTATEOFILLINOIS;THESTATEOFIOWA;THESTATEOFMARYLAND;THESTATEOFMISSOURI;THESTATEOF
omo,
THECOMMONWEALTHOFPENNSYLVANIA;THECOMMONWEALTHOFPUERTORICO;THESTATEOFSOUTHDAKOTA;THESTATEOFTENNESSEE;THESTATEOFVERMONT;andTHESTATEOFWESTVIRGINIA;Plaintiffs,
v.
PENGUINGROUP(USA)INC.;MACMILLANHOLDINGS,LLC;SIMON
&
SCHUSTER,INC.;SIMON&SCHUSTERDIGITALSALES,INC.;andAPPLEINC.;Defendants.COMPLAINTFORINJUNCTIVERELIEF,CIVILPENALTIES
&
ASPARENSPATRIAEONBEHALFOFCONSUMERS
 
TheStatesofTexas,Connecticut,Alaska,Arizona,Colorado,Illinois,Iowa,Maryland,Missouri,Ohio,SouthDakota,Tennessee,Vermont,andWestVirginiaandtheCommonwealthsofPennsylvaniaandPuertoRico(the"PlaintiffStates"),byandthroughtheirAttorneysGeneral,bringthisactionagainstPenguinGroup(USA)Inc.("Penguin"),MacmillanHoldings,LLC("Macmillan"),Simon&Schuster,Inc.andSimon&SchusterDigitalSales,Inc.(collectively"Simon&Schuster")andAppleInc.("Apple")(collectively,"theDefendants")andallegeasfollows:
IeSUMMARYOFCOMPLAINT
1.Asaresultoffactslearnedduringanon-publicinvestigationbegunbytheStateofTexasinMarch2010,thePlaintiffStateschargeMacmillan,Penguin,Simon
&
Schuster,andApplewithenteringintocontracts,combinations,andconspiraciesthatrestraintrade.2.Specifically,bytheendofsummer2009atthelatest,Hachette,HarperCollins,Macmillan,Penguin,andSimon
&
Schuster(collectively,"theConspiringPublishers"or"thePublishers")enteredintoanagreementtoraisetheretailpriceofelectronicbooks("e-books").Infurtheranceofthisconspiracy,bymid-December2009,Macmillan,Simon
&
Schuster,Hachette,andHarperCollinsagreedtodelaypublicationofcertainfrontliste-booksforseveralmonthsfollowingeachbook'sfirstprintedrelease.Inthepublishingindustry,thispracticeisknownas"Windowing."ThesefourPublishersviewedthiscollectiveWindowingasprovidingthemwithenhancedbargainingpowerwithwhichtheycouldnegotiatehigherretailpricesfromAmazonandotherdistributionoutlets(collectively,"theOutlets").3.NolaterthanJanuary2010,ApplejoinedHachette,HarperCollins,Macmillan,2
 
Penguin,andSimon&Schuster'sconspiracyandfacilitatedthePublishers'directimplementationoftheagreementtoincreasee-bookprices.AppleplayedafacilitatingrolebybringingtheConspiringPublishersintoagreementwithoneanotheronaschemetoraiseretailprices.Theschemehadtwocomponents.First,theConspiringPublisherswouldshifttheirmarketwidedistributionmodelfore-booksfromaWholesale-RetailModel,inwhichdistributionOutletssuchasAmazonorBarnes&Noblesetretaile-bookpricesandselle-booksdirectlytoconsumers,toanAgencyModel,inwhichthePublisherssetretaile-bookpricesandselle-booksdirectlytoconsumers.Second,theConspiringPublisherswouldthenraiseretailprices.4.AsaresultoftheirconspiracywithApple,Macmillan,Penguin,Simon
&
Schuster,Hachette,andHarperCollinsagreedtoeliminatee-bookretailpricecompetitionbetweenAppleandAmazonandotherOutlets.TheagreementalsoensuredthatAppleearneda30%grossmarginone-books.TheConspiringPublishersandAppleincreasede-bookretailpricespursuanttothisillegalagreementbeginningonAprill,2010.5.Asaresultoftheconspiracy,consumersnationwide,inaggregate,paidsubstantiallymorethanonehundredmilliondollarsinoverchargesone-books.AsofthefilingofthisComplaint,theseoverchargesareongoing.6.ThePlaintiffStatesseekafindingthattheDefendants'actionsviolatedfederalandstateantitrustlaws;apermanentinjunctionpreventingtheDefendantsfromcontinuingtheirillegalconductandrectifyingongoinganticompetitiveeffectscausedbytheirillegalconduct;damagesonbehalfofnaturalpersonslocatedinthePlaintiffStates;civilpenalties;andotherreliefforinjuriessustainedasaresultofDefendants'violationsoflaw.
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