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From Antitrust Law Daily, November 21, 2014

Apple’s $450M settlement in e-books price fixing class action gets final approval

By Linda O’Brien, J.D., LL.M.

The federal district court in New York City has given its final approval to the settlement of price fixing claims for electronic books (“ebooks”) against Apple, Inc., raised in a certified class action and a parens patriae action. The court concluded that the settlement was—in all respects—fair, reasonable, and adequate, and in the best interests of consumers (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, November 21, 2014, Cote, D.).

The settlement agreement between Apple and the class plaintiffs and 33 plaintiff states and territories is valued at up to $450 million. Preliminary approval of the settlement was granted in August 2014.

Claims for injunctive relief against Apple, brought by the states and territories, are currently on appeal to the Second Circuit.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Apple would pay a total of $400 million in compensation for consumers who purchased e-books between roughly April 2010 and May 2012; a total of $20 million to the plaintiff states to cover their fees and costs; and a total of $30 million to cover the fees and costs of settlement class counsel. The payments would be made only if the liability finding against Apple was affirmed by the appellate court.

The court concluded that the applicable requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 have been satisfied with respect to the settlement class.

The settlement class includes all natural persons who purchased e-books published by Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin, or Simon & Schuster, from April 1, 2010, through May 21, 2012.

The cases are Nos. 11-md-02293, 12-cv-3394.

Attorneys: David M. Ashton, Texas Attorney General’s Office, for the State of Texas. Gary M. Becker, Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, for the State of Connecticut. Nancy M. Bonnell, Attorney General of Arizona, for the State of Arizona. Devin M. Laiho, Assistant Attorney General, for the State of Colorado. James A. Donahue, Chief Deputy Attorney General, for the State of Pennsylvania. Steve W. Berman (Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP) and Douglas Richards, Kit A. Pierson, and Jeffrey B. Dubner (Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC) for class plaintiffs. Daniel S. Floyd (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP) for Apple Inc.

Companies: Apple Inc.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust NewYorkNews

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