Apple and publishers lose bid to reject class action on e-book pricing

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Apple and five publishers have lost a bid to have a class action case on electronic book pricing rejected, thus allowing the case to proceed in court in the United States.

US district attorney judge Denise Cote in New York Tuesday 15 May rejected  a motion by Apple and the publishers to dismiss the case, citing concerns of a “conspiracy”. Cote wrote in an opinion that the agreement to set prices for e-books between the electonics giant and the publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuste—”is unlawful per se because it is, at root, a horizontal price restraint”.

The class action suit, filed last August, preceded US Department of Justice allegations last month which claimed that Apple had colluded with the publishers to wrest control from online book vendor Amazon and to boost the price of e-books. Judge Cote is overseeing both cases.

Links to other sources: Business Week, Publishers Weekly, Times of India