May 29, 2022

U.S. Sues Apple, Publishers Over E-Book Pricing; HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette Decide to Settle

UPDATE: 16 States Also File Suit Against Publishers (Press Release and Court Filing)

From: “Justice Files Agency Pricing Suit; Three Publishers Settle” (by Meredith Schwartz, via The Digital Shift)

The Department of Justice today filed its antitrust suit against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster over the agency model of ebook pricing.

However, Attorney General Eric Holder announced at a press conference that Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster have agreed to a proposed settlement.

“If approved by the court, this settlement would resolve the Department’s antitrust concerns with these companies, and would require them to grant retailers – such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble – the freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles.   The settlement also requires the companies to terminate their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements with Apple and other e-books retailers,” said Holder. In addition, the companies will be prohibited for two years from placing constraints on retailers’ ability to offer discounts to consumers.  They will also be prohibited from conspiring or sharing competitively sensitive information with their competitors for five years.  And each is required to implement a strong antitrust compliance program.”

Read the Complete Article

USA v Apple Inc., et al.


Proposed Settlement With Harpercollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette


Competitive Impact Statement (4/11/2012)

Statement from John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin Group, regarding the U.S. Department of Justice:

See Also: Press Conference Statements

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.