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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Attorney General Reaches Agreement with Penguin Group Inc. to Resolve E-Book Price-Fixing Allegati


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :   Wednesday, May 22, 2013
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605)773-3215   

Attorney General Reaches Agreement with Penguin Group Inc. to Resolve
 E-Book Price-Fixing Allegations

PIERRE, S.D  - Attorney General Marty Jackley today announced the resolution of a multistate antitrust investigation against Penguin Group for price-fixing and collusion in the electronic book (E-book) market. South Dakota has reached an agreement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. to settle allegations that Penguin colluded with other major publishers and Apple Inc. to manipulate prices in the E-book market.

“South Dakota led as one of the original states challenging the E-Book price-fixing scheme, in which our consumers will receive $398,000 in settlement proceeds,” said Jackley. “These settlements will restore competition in the E-Book Market and return confidence in consumer spending.”

South Dakota along with other states have previously settled with four other publishers: Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Simon & Schuster Inc., and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC d/b/a Macmillan for allegations relating to the same conduct. Consumers nationwide will receive $164 million in compensation as a result of the settlements with the five publishers. 

The agreement with Penguin must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. When finalized, the agreement with Penguin will grant E-book outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their E-book titles. 

The antitrust action based on the same allegations against Apple Inc. remains pending with trial scheduled in June 2013.