E-Book Settlement by Macmillan Publishing
Staring down the barrel of a potentiallfy huge “worst case” judgment, publisher Macmillan agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in the ongoing dispute with publishers of e-books. At this point, only Apple has not reached a settlement with the government.
E-Book Publisher Reports it Had No Choice But Settlment with Department of Justice
New York-based Macmillan, the publisher of e-books under various affiliated publishers, settled because it could not afford to lose.
As reported in the New York Business Jourrnal, John Sargent, Macmillan chief executive explained in a letter that “In this action the government accused five publishers and Apple of conspiring to raise prices. As each publisher settled, the remaining defendants became responsible not only for their own treble damages, but also possibly for the treble damages of the settling publishers (minus what they settled for). A few weeks ago I got an estimate of the maximum possible damage figure. I cannot share the breathtaking amount with you, but it was much more than the entire equity of our company.”
Digital Publisher Settle with Justice Department
The Justice Department reported the settlement on Friday with Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, Macmillan’s parent corporation, but is purusing its claim against Apple, which purportedly conspired with book publishers to raise prices charged consumers for e-books.
The settlement will require Macmillan to remove existing restrictions on discounting and promotions by e-book retailers, as well as prohibiting similar arrangments until 2014. The settlement must be aproved by the federal District Court in New York. Similar agreements with other settling publishers have already been approved.
Macmillan’s line of putlishers include St. Martin’s Press and Farrar, Straus and Girous.
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