Pearson's Penguin Must Participate in E-Book Fixing Trial

Pearson Plc’s Penguin unit must participate in a June trial in which the U.S. alleges an electronic book price-fixing conspiracy with Apple Inc., a judge ordered.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in New York yesterday also ordered Penguin to provide its initial witness list by March 1. Penguin has until March 15 to file a motion if it decides not to defend against the lawsuit and to request to hear the testimony of two of its executives at the trial.

The U.S. Department of Justice in April filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin, claiming the publishers colluded to fix digital book prices to undermine discounter Inc.’s dominance. Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group Inc. and HarperCollins Publishers LLC settled the DOJ’s cases against them at the same time, and Penguin and Macmillan have since settled their cases too.

The case is U.S. v. Apple Inc., 12-cv-02826, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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