Macmillan Settles Ebook Price Fixing Case, Now Apple is the Only Remaining DefendantAnd then there was one. Macmillan just settled the ebook price fixing lawsuit with the Department of Justice, reports The Wall Street Street Journal. Now every major publisher sued by the U.S. government for colluding with Apple to artificially inflate the price of ebooks sold to consumers has settled but one: Apple.
Macmillan CEO John Sargent said that the company settled "because the potential penalties became too high to risk even the possibility of an unfavorable outcome." Sargent said that he still believes that Macmillan did nothing wrong and the company is making no admission of guilt. He said that if they lost the case, the damages would equal more than the company's value. The publisher has three days to start allowing ebook retailers such as Amazon.com to start discounting its books, even if it has no new deal on place. Macmillan must allow discounting for two years from December 18, 2012, which is the date Penguin reached a settlement.
Apple has refused to comment to the press about the recent settlement. At this point, Apple is set to go to trial with the Department of Justice. Apple has more cash than many countries. It can certainly afford to litigate if it chooses.
Posted on February 9, 2013