E-book Price Fixing Allegations Hit Apple In Canada

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple for colluding with book publishers in order to raise prices for digital books. Apple responded to the allegations soon after, stating that none of the e-book price fixing allegations are true. Today, a class-action lawsuit was filed in Canada at B.C. Supreme Court by the Vancouver firm Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman, alleging that Apple and a number of book publishers are engaged in a conspiracy to fix, maintain, increase or control the prices of e-books. The targeted book publishers include Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster.

Detailing via The Globe And Mail:

The statement of claim in B.C. alleges that the defendants conspired to change the method by which e-books were sold, driving up prices, and with the intention of eroding the market share held by Amazon, which was the largest eBook seller “before the alleged conspiracy was implemented,” it says.

It also alleges that the defendants or their representatives communicated secretly, in person and by phone, to discuss and fix e-book prices, in the lead-up to the introduction of Apple’s iPad, which can function as an eReader, in April of 2010.

The U.S. Department of Justice has already announced that settlements have been reached with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster but would be continuing litigation against Apple and other publishers on the list.

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