1:40pm

Thu April 12, 2012
"Old-Fashioned" Price Fixing Alleged by AG

Tennessee Joins Lawsuit Against Apple

WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) — Tennessee is joining a major lawsuit filed against Apple Inc. and several major book publishers.

The Justice Department and several states allege that Apple and the publishers conspired to raise the price of electronic books that prosecutors say cost consumers millions of dollars.

The government has already settled with three of the publishers, but will proceed with its lawsuit against Apple and Holtzbrinck Publishers, doing business as Macmillan, and The Penguin Publishing Co. Ltd., doing business as Penguin Group.

Victor Domen, Jr., Senior Council for the Tennessee Attorney General, says e-books may be a brand new product, but the case is an example of old-fashioned price fixing.

"As we get get away from print media, the key here is to ensure that consumers are getting a fair price when they purchase e-books. Therefore, Tennessee is invovled in the case in order to make sure that Tennessee consumers who overpaid for electronic books get restitution."

The federal government is asking the court to simply ensure the price fixing stops, but the states, including Tennessee, will ask the court to impose a monetary judgment so that consumers can be compensatedfor having overpaid for their e-books.