Hawaii Part of $69 Million E-Book Settlement

August 30, 2012, 12:51 PM HST · Updated August 30, 4:07 PM
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State seal. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Hawaii is part of a $69 million agreement with three major US publishers over e-book price-fixing allegations.

The lawsuit alleges that the publishers conspired and agreed to increase retail e-book prices for all consumers and agreed to eliminated retail price competition between outlets.

Hawaii Attorney General David Louie said the legal action sends a strong message that competitors cannot get away with price-fixing. He said consumers in this case paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular titles.

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“Today’s settlement with three publishers paves the way for restitution for those consumers harmed by the scheme,” said Louie.

Consumers in Hawaii could receive up to $300,000 in total compensation, according to the state Attorney General’s office.

“The money consumers will receive, this settlement will restore competition in the e-book market by promoting e-book competition among retailers,” said Louie.

The anti-trust settlement includes an agreement to change the way e-books are priced going forward.

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