Apple Hit with Stockholder Lawsuit over eBook Price-Fixing Settlement

News of a new lawsuit against Apple crossed my desk this morning. From GigaOm:

Apple shareholders are suing CEO Tim Cook along with some of the company’s other executives and directors, claiming that their role in a price-fixing conspiracy with publishers damaged the company.

According to a complaint filed on Thursday in California state court, Cook and other senior Apple figures bear “responsibility for ensnaring Apple in a multi-year anticompetitive scheme” that resulted in a highly-publicized trial and a proposed $450 million payout by the company to settle related complaints that it illegally raised the price of ebooks.

This lawsuit is a response to Apple's decision to settle the antitrust lawsuit brought by the DOJ and states's attorney generals over Apple's role in the 2010 conspiracy by 5 publishers to raise and fix ebook prices.

The lawsuit is based on the point that the highest levels of Apple's management knew about the conspiracy at the time the iPad launched. As we can see from the clip below, Steve Jobs more or less admitted to knowing that the 5 publishers which had signed as launch partners for iBooks were going to conspire to raise ebook prices:

Even so, I'm not sure there is anything really newsworthy about this suit; I have to agree with Roberts over at GigaOm that this smells like a nuisance suit brought by lawyers hoping Apple will pay them to go away.

About Nate Hoffelder (11473 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Apple Hit with Stockholder Lawsuit over eBook Price-Fixing Settlement

  1. There’s some interesting bits of revisionist history on the comment by Lesabel Teres. It’s so outlandish it isn’t worth a response.

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