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Class Action Suit Filed Against Apple & Five Publishers Over eBook Pricing

Today consumer rights firm Hagens Berman filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple and five of the “big six” publishers.

The suit alleges that Apple, HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster “colluded to increase prices for popular e-book titles to boost profits and force e-book rival Amazon to abandon its pro-consumer discount pricing.” The named plaintiffs are Oakland, California resident Anthony Petru and Natchez, Mississippi resident Marcus MathisFollow this link to read more about the suit.

Here’s more about the suit, from the release: “The lawsuit seeks damages for the purchase of e-books, an injunction against pricing e-books with the agency model and forfeiture of the illegal profits received by the defendants as a result of their anticompetitive conduct, which could total tens of millions of dollars.”

Hagen Berman founding partner Steve Berman had this comment: “Fortunately for the publishers, they had a co-conspirator as terrified as they were over Amazon’s popularity and pricing structure, and that was Apple … We intend to prove that Apple needed a way to neutralize Amazon’s Kindle before its popularity could challenge the upcoming introduction of the iPad, a device Apple intended to compete as an e-reader.”

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