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Pearson’s Penguin Settles States’ E-Book Antitrust Claims

Pearson Plc’s (PSON) Penguin unit said it reached a $75 million settlement of antitrust claims by 33 states and consumers over electronic-book pricing.

Penguin, which was sued last year for allegedly participating in a conspiracy with other publishers and Apple Inc. (AAPL) to fix the price of e-books, announced the settlement in a statement today. The company resolved related claims with the U.S. Justice Department in December.

The states claimed damages on behalf of people who were forced to pay too much for e-books because of the alleged conspiracy. The Justice Department and the states claimed Apple and five publishers, including Penguin, fixed prices in an attempt to undermine Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)’s dominance of the market.

The Penguin settlement must be approved by a federal judge in New York before it can take effect. Apple is scheduled to begin a trial June 3 on civil antitrust claims by the Justice Department and states.

The case is U.S. v. Apple, 11-cv-02293, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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