The United States Department of Justice has already filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five other e-book publishers for alleged e-book price fixing in the lead up to the launch of the iBookstore, breaking Amazon’s wholesale monopoly on e-books and forcing them to adopt the agency model.
Apple believes it’s got a really good case against such allegations, and wants to go to trial to fight the charges. So do publish Macmillan and Penguin, who have refused to settle the case. But it looks like they won’t *just* have to defend themselves in the United States, but now up north as well, as price-fixing class action lawsuits against Apple and other publishers have started being filed in Canada as well.
Three have been filed so far, as the Montreal Gazette reports:
Last February, lawyer Normand Painchaud filed in Quebec Superior Court for permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against Apple Corp. and five book publishers, among them Harpercollins Publishers Inc. and Penguin Group, the same group being pursued in the U.S.
“Prices have definitely gone up,” Painchaud said. “So consumers could be eligible for damages.”
…Reached Friday morning, Painchaud said his is one of three lawsuits in Canada, with other requests for class actions being launched in British Columbia and Ontario. Painchaud said if his or any of the other lawsuits are successful, there will probably be a method set out to extend damages to all Canadian owners of electronic books.
This is just a weird case. On one hand, it seems as if Apple definitely conspired with e-book publishers to force Amazon to charge more for e-books… but considering the fact that Amazon was an e-book monopoly that was artificially keeping the price of e-books down at the detriment of the publishing industry, it seems to this admittedly untrained eye like Apple’s heart was in the right place. Either way, Apple clearly feels they have a case. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.
- Via 9to5Mac