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Motion to Intervene in Government’s E-Book Case to Appeal Partial Settlement Rejected

The federal district court in New York City yesterday denied a “consumer’s” motion to intervene in the Justice Department’s action against Apple, Inc. and five publishers for allegedly conspiring to fix prices for electronic books or “e-books.” The motion was filed by Bob Kohn for the purpose of appealing from a September 6 final judgment ((CCH)  2012-2 Trade Cases ¶78,042), resolving the government’s antitrust allegations against three of the five publishers.

Kohn describes himself as a “consumer of digital goods, author of a treatise on copyright, and founder and CEO of technology companies directly involved in the digital distribution of music and e-books,” the court explained. He gain [...]

U.S. Consent Decree with Three Publishers over E-Book Pricing Approved

The federal district court in New York City yesterday approved a U.S. consent decree that resolves U.S. Department of Justice allegations against three publishers for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for electronic books or “e-books.” The consent decree with Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster, Inc. was found to be in the public interest.

The government alleged that the three settling publishers and two non-settling publishers–MacMillan and Penguin Group–acted collectively to switch to a new sales model for e-books known as the “agency model” and entered into functionally-identical agreements with non-settling defendant Apple, Inc., wh [...]

Seventh Circuit Sitting En Banc Reverses in Potash, Announces Second Most Important of All FTAIA Opinions, Shores Up the Text Messaging Position on Conspiracy Pleading

Well, okay, I guess there might just possibly have been an appellate decision this week of even more pressing moment, but I believe something important and very positive happened in the Seventh Circuit yesterday: the en banc reversal in Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium, Inc., No. 10-1712 (7th Cir. June 27, 2012) (en banc) (“Potash II”). The court ruled that plaintiffs had pled a foreign price-fixing conspiracy that it is subject to U.S. antitrust under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act. I suppose Potash II is itself a case primarily about FTAIA, and it is now second in importance within the FTAIA caselaw only to the Supreme Court’s Empagran ruling. But as I’ve suggested before, I [...]

Fines Mounting in Department of Justice Auto Parts Cartel Investigation

The Department of Justice today announced a total of $548 million in fines resulting from a second round of charges in the government’s ongoing investigation into collusive activity in the auto parts industry.

Two more Japanese companies have agreed to plead guilty for their roles in multiple price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies in the sale of parts to automobile manufacturers in the United States. The Antitrust Division announced that Japanese suppliers of automotive electrical components—Yazaki Corporation and DENSO Corporation—have agreed to pay a total of $548 million in criminal fines.

The latest fines, when taken together with a $200 million fine imposed last November on Fur [...]

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