Federal Judge Grants Class Action Status to E-Book Pricing Lawsuit

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A federal judge has granted class action status to a group of plaintiffs suing Apple over its antitrust collusion with publishers to increase the price of e-books, reports Reuters. The judge, Denise Cote, is the same judge who oversaw the antitrust case against Apple by the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Judge Cote has been accused by Apple of overstepping her judicial authority by giving a court-appointed monitor wide authority at Apple to interview and make changes at the company. Apple requested that the lawyer chosen to serve as the monitor be disqualified, saying he had over-stepped his bounds by asking for lawyer-less meetings with key Apple executives and board members. That request was denied at appeal.
    Some have estimated that Apple could owe as much as $500 million after being found guilty in the Federal antitrust case, with more judgements possible in this class-action suit if the plaintiffs are successful.

    This class action suit applies only to consumer plaintiffs in the states where the governments have not already sued Apple. Previously, 33 states and territories sued Apple on behalf of their consumers, seeking more than $800 million in damages.

    Article Link: Federal Judge Grants Class Action Status to E-Book Pricing Lawsuit
  2. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    Oh boy. Get ready for the upset people frothing at the mouths because Apple is getting sued.

    Now, if the news was reversed, and the judge declined class action status, this would have been on the front page and not the sidebar. :apple:
  3. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Serious question, why isn't there a different judge deciding this instead of Cote?

    Logically, she should be the last option on the list of federal judges to be selected on this case considering that she just issued a judgment against Apple in the same case. To make it fair and just, a different judge should determine this, not Cote.

    I'm not familiar with how the judges are picked but does anybody here know?
  4. Macyourdayy macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2011
    Someone other than amazon dares to sell e books at higher price. Anti monopoly commission sacked. Pictures @ eleven.
  5. cylack macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Eliminate class action lawsuits completely. Only the scummy lawyers make money. I get invites to be part of class action lawsuits all the time. Just got notice in the mail the other day that after being sued for 7 years, a company which I used to own shares in settled for $60 million, 33% of which will go to the lawyers. Class action lawsuits just make the price of all products go up. Plaintiffs get a few dollars, maybe a $100 if they are lucky, while scummy lawyers get millions and some even get in the hundreds of millions in jackpot class action lawsuits like tobacco. Lawyers are lower than the lowest form of parasite.
  6. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I just got my settlement email last night. iTunes redeem code. Go to iTunes store... type in the code... 73 cents credited to my iTunes account... go lawyers!
  7. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Enjoy your free books everyone. :rolleyes:

    Really, you agreed to the price when you bought the books to begin with, absolutely no point why consumers should be getting a refund. It should be a slap on the wrist for Apple, Amazon, and the others, nothing more.

    I was surprised that I even got one. Bought four books with it.
  8. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Ah, yes, the bizzaro world of Judge Denise Cote, where the Sherman Act is used to grant an ebook monopoly to Amazon.
  9. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    I'm not sure why you're blaming the customers because that's what it sounds like to me.

    If the government is saying that those major publishers intentionally bumped up the price illegally, and the affected customers paid too much, then those customers definitely should've gotten some credits. Why should those companies have the extra money they don't deserve?

    A slap on the wrist means nothing to these companies, they shouldn't have those cash in the first place. A slap on the wrist also means they'd do it again if it cost them nothing.

    Also, I don't know why you're including Amazon here, Amazon isn't guilty of anything here. The only guilty party is Apple, nobody else and the credit isn't from Apple either. Apple's passing on the credits from those publishers because you bought the books on the iBooks store.
  10. CReimer macrumors member


    Oct 24, 2006
    Silicon Valley
    This case continues to boggle the mind. Apple and the publishers tries to pre-empt the Amazon monopoly. The federal government sues to preserve the Amazon monopoly. And now everyone is getting free credits as compensation for someone daring to break the Amazon monopoly.

    I wouldn't be surprised if IBM wanted their monopoly back. :eek:
  11. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    So it should be legal for companies to collude?
  12. CReimer macrumors member


    Oct 24, 2006
    Silicon Valley
    Should it be illegal for companies to break up a monopoly by providing MORE COMPETITION in the market place?

    Remember that Amazon had 90% of the ebook market by FORCING the publishers to sell their $15 bestsellers at a LOST for $10. Ninety percent of anything is a monopoly.

    Apple and the publishers changed the rule of the game. Amazon now has ~60% of ebook market due to COMPETITION with Apple, Barnes & Noble and many smaller ebook retailers. Publishers can set whatever prices they want for their ebooks.

    As a writer and ebook publisher, MORE COMPETITION is a good thing.
  13. JoEw macrumors 65816


    Nov 29, 2009
    This lawsuit boggles my mind.. Someone explain why Apple is getting the hammer? Because people would rather pay a premiun for books on the iBook store instead of the amazon ecosystem? Maybe we want to keep book prices stable so publishers and writers continue to make a fair margin and profit off their books? apple never stopped me from buying my book on kindle and there is even a kindle ipad app, apple approved..

    This is not in my opinion a fanboy view, if people want to pay for ebooks on ibook app (which doesnt even come preinstalled on apple devices) whats wrong with that?
  14. dumastudetto macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2013
    This is without merit. I think Apple will leave the US if there's not a change in the anti-business sentiment in 2016.
  15. wikiverse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2012
    Does Microsoft have a monopoly on computer operating systems? They have around 95% market share. There are more computers running windows today than every macOS and iOS device ever sold.
  16. bsolar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2011
    If they do that through illegal means of course it's illegal, no matter the end result. If you want more competition you have to find a legal business strategy to get it.

    With wholesale the publishers are not involved in the consumer's price: the publisher sells to Amazon for a fixed price and then Amazon sells it at the end consumer at whatever price it wants. Amazon selling an ebook at loss means that Amazon loses money, but the publisher's cut for that sale is not affected at all.

    Amazon might have a monopoly but this is not per-se illegal: if the publishers believe that Amazon got its monopoly through illegal means or believe that it's abusing his strong position they should sue for the relevant illegal acts.

    The publishers allegedly abused the ability to set consumer's prices: that's what got them in trouble in the first place.

    This doesn't mean you can break the law to get it.
  17. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    They do and that's why they got hammered hard in United States v. Microsoft case.
  18. danckwerts macrumors regular


    Jun 7, 2008
    Richmond upon Thames

    In the UK we've had a massive increase in supposed whiplash cases (and insurance premiums) since the ambulance-chasers started advertising on television. In the US, it's class actions against Apple and any other company which looks as though it has a lot of spare cash. It's great for lawyers but pretty much everyone else loses. Just as Nigerian scammers lure their victims by appealing to their greed and dishonesty, so do unscrupulous lawyers. The courts are clogged up, companies spend time and money defending themselves, profits and dividends decline. Eventually, many people will decide it's not worth investing in US companies.

    I'd like to see a return (here in the UK) to the days when solicitors' advertising was restricted to little more than an entry in the Yellow Pages specifying what sort of work they specialised in.
  19. bsolar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2011
    The issue was not Microsoft having a monopoly in the first place of the way they got it: they got hammered because they illegally abused their monopoly at the expense of competitors. The main topic was their tying of IE with Microsoft Windows at the expense of competing browsers.
  20. silentmajority macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    I got my $54 back from Barnes and Noble, which I am not complaining about. However, I think this class action lawsuit is BS. I paid for the ebook what I thought it was worth at the POS. If I thought ebooks were too expensive I wouldn't have paid for it and neither would anyone else.
  21. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Further, Apple did not HAVE to insist on a 30 percent take on book sales. Just because that's how they modeled their app store didn't mean they were forced to do the same for books.
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Moderators apparently didn't agree with me, but it is a disgusting strategy to preemptively insult everyone who dares having a different point of view than you have.
  23. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    As I understand it the publishers got together around a table and agreed on the price fixing -- clearly illegal and so they should indeed get slapped around. Apple was not at the table, but they did approach the publishers and essentially say, "hey, in the app business we let you set the price, but we take a 30% commission for selling and distributing the book through our channel." In my mind there is nothing illegal here. Otherwise thy would have already been shut down in their app store. Yet the court basically says, "well, it's okay in the app store, but it's not okay in the book store." This to me makes not sense.

    I agree with you that Amazon has no place here. Apple did not want to follow Amazon's model and they went with a model that had worked for them. The customers were not affected by either model because they could choose where to buy the book. The only issue is if the publisher refused to sell through Amazon in order to sell at a higher price through Apple.

    However, in all of this I see nothing that Apple did wrong. My biggest concern is that if this ends up going through all the way to the supreme court, at some point someone will say, "based on the precedence set by the book store, the app store is wrong too. Oh and then lets talk about the music store, and the moving store, etc." Essentially this could completely derail the model that Apple is using across all it channels. This could be very bad for all of us.
  24. Plutonius macrumors 603


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    Not really but this is putting the cart before the horse. I believe they should go through the upcoming appeals process before green lighting people to sue. As it is now, Apple is stuck paying the large monitor cost even if they win the appeal.

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