Apple cannot escape U.S. states' e-book antitrust cases - judge

NEW YORK Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:24am IST

A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in downtown Shanghai September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

A woman looks at the screen of her mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in downtown Shanghai September 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song/Files

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Tuesday lost an attempt to dismiss lawsuits by state attorneys general accusing it of conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote's ruling paves the way for attorneys general in 33 states and territories to move forward, along with attorneys for consumers, in pursuing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages at a July 14 trial.

Following a non-jury trial, Cote in July found that Apple from 2009 to 2010 conspired with the publishers to raise e-book prices and impede competitors such as Amazon.com Inc.

The states had pursued the liability finding alongside the U.S. Justice Department without any objection by Apple and obtained a subsequent injunction against the iPad maker in September that called for the appointment of a compliance monitor.

But as the case moved into a damages phase, Apple argued that the states lacked standing to maintain an action for damages, arguing they had not alleged they had suffered any injury.

Cote, though, said it was easy to conclude the states had standing to move forward with the case.

"Apple has cited no authority to support the distinction it is advocating here between the standing to seek an end to an antitrust violation and the standing to seek damages for that violation," she wrote.

The states' case is being led by attorneys general in Texas and Connecticut. Jaclyn Falkowski, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, said in an email that the office was pleased with the decision.

A spokesman for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has appealed the liability finding in the civil lawsuit and denies wrongdoing.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are seeking $840 million in damages.

The publishers previously agreed to pay more than $166 million to settle related antitrust charges.

They included Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group Inc, News Corp's HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Penguin Group (USA) Inc, CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster Inc and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH's Macmillan.

The case is In Re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-md-02293.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

TECH SHOWCASE

Apple Results

Apple Results

Apple margin concerns fade, focus shifts to iPhone launch  Full Article 

Expansion Plans

Expansion Plans

EBay plans to expand in Russia despite sanctions.  Full Article 

Outlook Weighs

Outlook Weighs

Qualcomm posts higher quarterly results  Full Article 

'Selfie' Boom

'Selfie' Boom

Sony invests in image sensor production amid 'selfie' boom.  Full Article 

Cyberfraud Case

Cyberfraud Case

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud case  Full Article 

Q2 Below Forecast

Q2 Below Forecast

AT&T revenue misses estimates as promotion weighs on revenue  Full Article 

WhatApp Leak

WhatApp Leak

Israel detains soldiers after WhatsApp leaks about Gaza casualties   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage