Steve Berman, lead counsel in Apple eBook antitrust class-action, issues statement on U.S. DOJ action

Statement by Steve W. Berman, Hagens Berman.

We are pleased that the U.S. Justice Department and Attorney General Holder agreed with our analysis that Apple and some of the nation’s largest publishers engaged in anticompetitive practices.

We’ve long held that Apple and this group of book publishers formed a cabal with the sole intent of extinguishing any competitive influences in the e-book marketplace.

While Attorney General Holder’s actions, if successful, will put an end to the anticompetitive actions, our class-action is designed to pry the ill-gotten profits from Apple and the publishers and return them to consumers.

One of the main engines of our economy today is technological innovation, including devices such as the iPad and Kindle. Any company – or conspiracy of companies – trying to illegally limit the benefit of these technologies is guilty of more than anticompetitive behavior. They are guilty of stanching future innovation in the marketplace.

We are eager to move forward with our civil action against Apple and the publishers, and to show the court and the public the depth and breadth of the conspiracy they concocted at the expense of consumers.

Steve Berman, managing partner of Seattle-based Hagens Berman, filed a civil class-action complaint on Aug. 9, 2011, alleging that Apple conspired with the nation’s largest publishers to fix the price of e-books. The lawsuit seeks damages for the purchase of e-books, an injunction against pricing e-books with the agency model and forfeiture of the illegal profits received by the defendants as a result of their anticompetitive conduct which could total tens of millions of dollars. Berman was subsequently named lead counsel of the consolidated case, unifying a number of similar actions filed across the country.

Source: Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

MacDailyNews Take: *Cough-Ambulance-chaser-cough*

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;U.S. DOJ hits Apple,major publishers with antitrust lawsuit, alleges collusion on eBook prices – April 11, 2012
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53 Comments

  1. Its great to know that Berman et al. are out there fightting for the little guy. I look forward to my $0.39 settlement to right the wrongs against me! Godspeed to you sir in your quest to pry the ill- gotten profits from the evil empire…you will no doubt earn evey penny of your 30% cut of that 50,000,000 settlement…

  2. Gotta love the blindness “One of the main engines of our economy today is technological innovation, including devices such as the iPad and Kindle. Any company – or conspiracy of companies – trying to illegally limit the benefit of these technologies is guilty of more than anticompetitive behavior. They are guilty of stanching future innovation in the marketplace.”

    And which Company made the iPad?

  3. Just happens to be in the same city as Apples biggest competitor in ebooks. Wonder how pushed for this one. Besides books are not a nessesity you buy them or you don’t price is set at what the FREE market will bear. So the is no ill gotten gains to get back. If you want to see ill gotten Gaines look at gas companies, there product is a nessesity and they do collude to set the price higher than the market can bear, that is the namer one reason the economy is as depresses as it is. Everything is effected by gas prices.

  4. Why is everyone here arguing about the “agency model”??? That is NOT what this is about!!!

    If I understand this correctly, Apple, MacMillan and others were sued because in their agreement, Apple requires that every publisher who wants to sell iBooks cannot sell the equivalent eBooks through another retailer at a lower price than on iBook store. This essentially takes away the freedom of a product owner and a retailer with whom the product owner goes into business, to freely set prices as they see fit.

    Best Buy is a good example of a retailer that uses their might to set prices for goods sold in their store, and makers of those goods have little leverage within Best Buy universe. However, many of them sell their goods elsewhere, and Best Buy certainly does NOT prohibit those makers from selling their stuff at lower or higher prices elsewhere.

    I think this price conditioning outside of Apple’s own store is what DoJ isn’t liking here.

  5. When I read the four paragraphs by Mr Berman, I had a sensation of having read it, or something like it, before.

    Then I remembered… it reads just like the dialogue of the fictional characters Wesley Mouch or Ellsworth Toohey.

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