Texas et al. v. Penguin Group et al., No. 1:12-cv-03394-DLC (S.D.N.Y, Apr. 30, 2012)

TTexas and Connecticut led 33 state group that filed complaint charging three of the nation’s largest book publishers and Apple Inc. with colluding to fix the sales prices of electronic books. The States undertook a two-year investigation into allegations that the defendants conspired to raise e-book prices. Retailers had long sold e-books through a traditional wholesale distribution model, under which retailers, not publishers, set e-book sales prices. The states alleged that Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan conspired with other publishers and Apple to artificially raise prices by imposing a distribution model in which the publishers set the prices for bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99. When Apple prepared to enter the e-book market, the publishers and Apple agreed to adopt an agency distribution model as a mechanism to allow them to fix prices. To enforce their price-fixing scheme, the publishers and Apple relied on contract terms that forced all e-book outlets to sell their products at the same price. Because the publishers agreed to use the same prices, retail price competition was eliminated. According to the States’ enforcement action, the coordinated agreement to fix prices resulted in e-book customers paying more than $100 million in overcharges. The States’ antitrust action seeks injunctive relief, damages for customers who paid artificially inflated prices for e-books and civil penalties. Case was filed in W.D. Tex., transferred to S.D.N.Y. as consolidated case. The States reached settlements with the five publishers, which granted E-book outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their E-book titles. Consumers nationwide received a total of $164 million in compensation. After entering into settlement agreement with all the Defendant publishers, DOJ and the states had a nearly 3 week trial against Apple in June 2013, during which numerous witnesses took the stand. On July 10, 2013, a decision was handed down in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice and the states against Apple. Trial of the damages phase is pending. United States et al. v. Apple, Inc., 12-CV-2826 (S.D.N.Y.).

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New York v. AU Optronics

Plaintiff state filed an antitrust action against several major technology companies for
illegally fixing prices for liquid crystal display (“LCD”) screens used in computers, televisions, and cell phones. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages suffered from 1996 to 2006 by New
York State and other public purchasers – local governments, schools, hospitals,
and colleges, among others – that purchased computers and other goods containing the price-fixed screens. The suit seeks damages, restitution, and civil penalties. Consolidated with other litigation in an MDL in the Northern District of California. See Missouri v. AU Optronics

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Florida v. AU Optronics

Plaintiff state filed suit against the world’s largest manufacturers of thin-film transistor
liquid crystal display panels, or “TFT-LCD panels,” alleging the companies conspired
to fix the prices of their products. The civil lawsuit, filed in federal district court in California, alleges that the defendants conspired to prevent competition and to increase prices for TFT-LCD panels, the most common form of LCD panels used in popular electronic devices such as desktop monitors, laptop screens, and flat panel televisions.
The state alleges that the defendants organized the conspiracy at the highest level of their organizations in various secret meetings and telephone conversations over a period of years. The United States Department of Justice has indicted a number of the defendants and their employees in the same federal court, resulting in more than $890 million in criminal fines. The lawsuit also alleges fraudulent concealment of the conspiracy. claims the companies violated the Florida Antitrust Act, the Sherman Act, and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and seeks injunctive relief, treble damages, restitution and/or disgorgement, civil penalties and costs.

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