NY A.G. ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF $166M IN E-BOOK SETTLEMENTS

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release issued by the Office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)  A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF E-BOOK SETTLEMENTS TOTALING $166  MILLION  "Multi-State Settlement Expected To Result In Over $11 Million In Distributions  To Injured New York Consumers"  "Schneiderman: My Office Will Continue To Ensure That New Yorkers Hurt By  Illegal Anticompetitive Conduct Receive Compensation"  NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that consumers  of electronic books (E-books) will be receiving compensation this week pursuant  to settlements entered into by the New York Attorney General and the Attorneys  General of numerous other states with five of the six largest publishers of  electronic books. The settlements arose out of an investigation and subsequent  lawsuit brought by New York and 32 other states against publishers Hachette  Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc.,  Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc., as  well as Apple, Inc., alleging anticompetitive activity in the E-book industry.  After the publishers settled, a trial was held earlier this year with respect  to the claims against Apple. A court found that the publishers and Apple had  engaged in an illegal conspiracy that restricted price competition and raised  the retail prices of E-books.  “Illegal actions by these publishers forced consumers in New York and across  the nation to pay artificially inflated prices for E-books,” said *Attorney  General Schneiderman.* “Companies engaging in such anticompetitive conduct will  be punished—and starting today, those injured by their actions will start to  receive full and fair compensation.”  The settlements with the five publishers totaled $166 million nationwide.  Approximately $11.5 million is expected to be distributed to E-book purchasers  residing in New York. The settlements were approved by the U.S. District Court  for the Southern District of New York on December 6, 2013. Two of the  settlements were negotiated together with private counsel representing  consumers in states whose attorneys general had not joined the litigation.  Pursuant to the settlements, New Yorkers who purchased E-books from Amazon,  Barnes & Noble, Kobo or Apple will automatically receive a credit on their  E-book accounts. Purchasers of E-books from Sony will automatically receive  refund checks in the mail. Consumers who purchased E-books from other  retailers, and who filed a timely claim form with the Settlement Administrator,  will receive refund checks in the mail. The amount of the account credits or  money to be received by New Yorkers will be based upon the number of eligible  E-books purchased during the claims period (April 1, 2010 to May 21, 2012). For  more information on the settlements, visit www.ebookagsettlements.com.  The case against Apple Inc. continues. In June 2013, following a three-week  bench trial in the liability phase of the case, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote  found Apple guilty of facilitating and executing a conspiracy to eliminate  retail price competition in order to raise the retail prices of E-books, in  violation of federal and state antitrust laws. A second trial, to decide the  amount of damages Apple must pay for this violation, is expected to take place  later this year. New York, along with Texas, Connecticut, and other states, is  expected to take a leading role at the trial.  This matter is being handled for New York by Assistant Attorneys General Robert  L. Hubbard and Linda J. Gargiulo, Antitrust Bureau Chief Eric Stock, Antitrust  Acting Deputy Chief Geralyn J. Trujillo and Executive Deputy Attorney General  Karla G. Sanchez.  (rml) NY    
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