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Federal judge denies motion to dismiss e-book conspiracy suit

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday denied petitions [opinion, PDF; press release] by book publishers and Apple [corporate website] to dismiss a class action lawsuit alleging that companies are illegally conspiring to fix electronic book (e-book) prices. The lawsuit was originally filed [JURIST report] in August. The complaint alleges that Apple and five major book publishing companies, including HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, conspired to increase e-book prices in an effort to compete with e-books and the economically-priced Kindle [product page] sold by Amazon [corporate website]. By denying the companies' motion to dismiss, Judge Denise Cote allowed the class action lawsuit to continue.

Last month the antitrust division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a similar complaint [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York accusing Apple and other major publishers of colluding to illegally fix e-book prices. The DOJ investigation of the defendants' conduct revealed conversations between company executives in which they agreed to proceed under the guise of a joint venture in order to raise prices. The lawsuit claims that the defendants' conduct constitutes violations of the Sherman Act [text], and the DOJ is requesting declaratory and injunctive relief.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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