Apple welcomes trial over eBook price-fixing allegations

By on April 19, 2012 at 5:55 PM.

Apple welcomes trial over eBook price-fixing allegations

Apple wants to go to trial to defend itself against allegations made the United States government surround a price-fixing scheme, Reuters reported on Wednesday.  “Our basic view is that we would like the case to be decided on the merits,” Apple lawyer, Daniel Floyd, told U.S. District Judge Denise Cote. “We believe that this is not an appropriate case against us and we would like to validate that.” The Department of Justice last week accused the Cupertino-based company and five book publishers of conspiring to fix electronic book prices through Apple’s iBookstore. According to the DOJ’s case, Apple agreed in 2010 to allow some of the top book publishers to set their own prices. Since then, prices have risen and other online retailers such as Amazon have been under pressure from publishers to raise their discounted prices as well. The Justice Department claims Apple colluded with Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group and Macmillan to control prices. The the next hearing in the trial is scheduled for June 22nd. More →

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Apple to DOJ: We’re the good guys, not the bad guys

By on April 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM.

Apple to DOJ: We’re the good guys, not the bad guys

In a filing with the United States district court for southern New York, Apple claims the Department of Justice has its story all wrong. The Justice Department filed an antitrust suit against Apple and multiple book publishers earlier this week alleging that the group colluded to fix the prices of electronic books. In a recently released document filed with the court on Wednesday, Apple’s counsel addressed the charges by claiming the DOJ has its story backwards — Apple wasn’t working with publishers to fix eBook prices, it was breaking Amazon’s “monopolistic grip” on the eBook market and the publishing industry. Read on for more. More →

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Australian government considering lawsuit against Apple over eBook price-fixing

By on April 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM.

Australian government considering lawsuit against Apple over eBook price-fixing

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has urged local retailers to voice their concerns about eBook price-fixing as it considers a lawsuit against Apple and five of the world’s largest book publishers, The Financial Review reported on Thursday. “The ACCC has previously stated that impediments to emerging competition involving online traders is an area of priority,” a spokesperson said. “Competition concerns may arise where traders seek to restrict the discounting of products by way of respective arrangements with suppliers. Retailers with concerns should raise them with the ACCC.” The United States Department of Justice on Wednesday filed a similar suit against Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group and Macmillan for allegedly conspiring to fix eBook prices. More →

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DOJ likely to lose eBook antitrust suit against Apple

By on April 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM.

DOJ likely to lose eBook antitrust suit against Apple

The United States Department of Justice is likely to lose its antitrust lawsuit targeting Apple and book publishers, according to a report from CNET. A number of legal experts agree that the case against the Cupertino-based company isn’t as strong as the one against publishers. The DOJ “has a far better case against the publishers than Apple,” said Dominick Armentano, professor and author of Antitrust and Monopoly. “If the CEOs of the various publishers got together in hotel rooms to discuss prices, they are sunk” and might as well settle, he said. Within the 36-page complaint, the Justice Department recounts how publishers met over breakfast in a London hotel and during dinners at a Manhattan restaurant to discuss price-fixing. Apple did not attend those meetings, however. More →

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U.S. government sues Apple over eBook price-fixing

By on April 11, 2012 at 10:15 AM.

U.S. government sues Apple over eBook price-fixing

The United States government has filed an antitrust suit against Apple, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin alleging that the companies conspired to fix electronic book prices. Reports surfaced more than a month ago suggesting that the Department of Justice had launched an investigation into whether or not Apple had colluded with publishers to raise the prices of eBooks sold through Apple’s iBookstore. According to Bloomberg, an antitrust suit was filed by the government on Wednesday in a New York district court. More →

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Samsung, LG and others fined $40 million in Korean price-fixing scam

By on March 15, 2012 at 1:30 PM.

Samsung, LG and others fined $40 million in Korean price-fixing scam

Korean regulators on Thursday fined domestic mobile phone manufacturers and carriers 45.3 billion won (roughly $40.2 million) for price-fixing and consumer fraud. According to the Fair Trade Commission, the companies secretly agreed to inflate the prices of cell phones while advertising offers with considerable incentives. The companies’ actions apparently tricked consumers into thinking they were buying a new phone for a bargain. “Companies took advantage of the complicated price setting practice in the mobile telecommunications sector to trick consumers,” an FTC official said. The Korea Times reported that Samsung, LG, Pantech, SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus have all been find for their role in the scheme. In addition to the fine, the companies have been ordered to release information concerning the incentives they offered consumers, and they have been banned from offering such incentives in the future. SK Telecom was given the largest fine of 20.2 billion won, followed by Samsung with 14.2 billion won and KT at 5.1 billion won. More →

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Samsung, Sharp and others to pay $553 million fine for LCD price-fixing scheme

By on December 27, 2011 at 8:05 PM.

Samsung, Sharp and others to pay $553 million fine for LCD price-fixing scheme

Samsung, Sharp, Innolux Corp, Hitachi, HannStar Display Corp, Chungwha Picture Tubes and Epson Imaging Devices Corp will pay a total of $553 million to settle accusations that the firms participated in an LCD price-fixing scheme. The price fixing resulted in inflation of display prices at the benefit of all companies involved, but at the cost of consumers. “This price-fixing scheme manipulated the playing field for businesses that abide by the rules, and left consumers to pay artificially higher costs for televisions, computers and other electronics,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said. The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan began investigating the seven companies in December 2006, Reuters said, and executives and other firms have already paid as much as $890 million in fines. Settlement papers filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ask Samsung to pay $240 million, the largest fine levied against any of the firms involved. Nokia also filed a lawsuit against several, but not all, of the aforementioned firms in 2009 alleging that the companies were purposely driving up display prices for screens used in Nokia smartphones. More →

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