Publishing giants Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster mutually agreed to cover a total of more than US $69 million to consumers to resolve claims of reported illegal conspiracy. The effort is to fix the price ranges of electronic books. The three publishing firms also agreed to modify the pricing of their e-books. With 55 attorneys general, the three publishers had settled in nearly each American state and the District of Columbia and some other territories. George Jepsen, Connecticut Attorney General said while publishers have an entitlement to their revenues, consumers also have a privilege to an open and fair marketplace. The settlement is to give consumers repayment after experiencing problems with price-fixing scheme. Jepsen added it is to restore competition in the e-book market for the long-term benefit of the consumers.
This is the most recent twist in a legal suit that originated from a two-year investigation the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division had conducted. The settlement appears to put an end to the case of the three publishing giants.
Simon & Schuster spokesperson Adam Rothberg said they believe that the settlement is fair. They were also pleased that the matter is not in the limelight anymore. In addition to this, he said they are already moving on and continuing the firm’s work with authors and accounts for the sake of the book market.