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Apple loses motion to dismiss ebook antitrust suit

May 15, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez

An update has been added to this article. Please see below for details.

Apple was unable to have an antitrust lawsuit over the price of ebooks dismissed.

The company and two book publishers were denied their bid to dismiss the class action lawsuit, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

In addition to the class action suit, the Justice Department sued Apple and five major book publishers in April, alleging Steve Jobs and the top executives at the publishing firms conspired to raise the price of ebooks.

[Updated 11:45 a.m. May 15:  An earlier version of this article should have noted that the denied motion to dismiss concerns a class action lawsuit, not a separate case being brought by the Justice Department.]

"We allege that these executives knew full well what they were doing. That is, taking steps to make sure the prices consumers paid for ebooks were higher," said Sharis Pozen, the acting head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, when the suit was announced.

Of the five firms sued, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster settled with the Justice Department. Macmillan and Penguin, along with Apple, are fighting the suit.

Amazon, which was portrayed as a victim in the filed lawsuit, cheered the lawsuit and the settlements. The three companies that settled were required to allow Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble to reduce the price of the books they sold. 

“This is a big win for Kindle owners, and we look forward to being allowed to lower prices on more Kindle books,” the company said after the suit was filed.

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