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Simon & Schuster reaches settlement in state ebook price-fixing lawsuit

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Book publisher Simon & Schuster has successfully settled a state lawsuit over alleged ebook price fixing.

Paper book 1024 marginalia 2
Paper book 1024 marginalia 2

Simon & Schuster settled almost immediately when the DOJ filed an antitrust lawsuit against five book publishers and Apple for alleged ebook price fixing. State litigation still loomed, however: 15 different states and Puerto Rico had filed their own suits against the companies, and while HarperCollins and Hachette reached quick agreements, Simon & Schuster was still in discussions. Those discussions appear to have reached a successful conclusion, with US District Court Judge Denise Cote agreeing to dismiss the publisher from the state suit this past Tuesday. According to court documents, the publisher signed an agreement with the states on May 10th; the terms were not disclosed.

It's the latest settlement we've seen in connection with the price-fixing controversy, and likely the last — at least for now. Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin have refused to settle with either the states or the DOJ, steadfastly denying any wrongdoing. All three claim to have acted independently — while also raising concerns that the suits could provide Amazon an unfair advantage in locking up ebook market mindshare. With Apple anxious to have its day in court, one thing is certain: this story is still far from over.