Amazon accused of e-book price fixing

Amazon is confronting another lawsuit charging that a deal between the company and five book publishers has made greater costs on e-books, The Wall Street Journal revealed.   

The amazon.com as well as “Big Five” publishers – Hachette, Penguin Random House, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins – have been accused of intriguing to fix e-book costs, in a class activity recorded by the law firm that effectively sued Apple and the Big Five on a similar charge 10 years prior.

In addition to over half of all print books, the lawsuit claims that around 90% of all e-books sold through Amazon in the US. The suit claims that in 2013 and 2014 year, e-book costs dropped after Apple and popular publishers were successfully sued for plotting to set e-book prices, but in 2015 after Amazon renegotiated their contracts, it rose again.

Law firm Hagens Berman filed the lawsuit in a federal district court in New York, alleging that the publishers pay high commissions and other expenses to Amazon, which thusly expands the retail cost of e books sold on the platform. Because of the deal between Amazon and the publishers, including Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, and Macmillan, the Amazon cost is the value the publishers charge different retailers too, preventing other sellers from providing the e-books at lower costs, according to the lawsuit.

Back in 2012, in one other e-book lawsuit, Apple was also accused by the Justice Department of scheming with significant book publishers in an attempt trying to rival Amazon by swelling e-book costs over the $9.99 value that Amazon liked. Also, in the apple case, Hagens Berman was lead counsel.

However, Apple went to court and lost, but the publishers settled; eventually, a $450 million settlement was agreed, with $400 million gave as refunds to purchasers. Apple denied about any bad behavior concerning e-book cost.