JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – Missouri has reached an agreement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. to settle the state’s allegations that Penguin conspired with Apple Inc. and other major publishers to manipulate e-book prices.
Attorney General Chris Koster announced the resolution Wednesday. The agreement gives e-book outlets more freedom to reduce prices for their e-book titles.
Missouri has previously settled price-fixing allegations with four other publishers: Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins PUblisher L.L.C., Simon & Schuster Inc., and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan.
The Penguin agreement will compensate consumers nationwide with $75 million. All together, the other four publishers’ settlements compensate consumers with $164 million.
The funds from the Penguin settlement are expected to be combined and distributed with the earlier settlements’ funds following court approval. Distribution will be based on consumer e-book purchases. Consumers will be offered different payment options depending on how they paid for their products.
Missouri’s antitrust action against Apple, Inc. remains pending with trial scheduled in June 2013.