AUSTIN—Texas consumers who have purchased electronic books (E-books) should begin receiving account credits or checks this week as a result of the successful prosecution of a price-fixing case against Apple, Inc.
“This is the final chapter in this long-fought litigation with Texas leading the pursuit of justice for consumers across the country,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The investigation began over six years ago, and our Antitrust Section continues to maintain its commitment throughout this case: corporations that violate the laws to increase their own profits at the expense of the people of Texas will be held responsible.”
Apple paid $400 million in nationwide consumer compensation after the United States Supreme Court denied Apple’s request to review the decision of a lower court, which affirmed a finding that Apple “played a central role in facilitating and executing” a conspiracy to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise E-book prices, in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.
Texas and Connecticut led a group of 33 states in investigating and prosecuting Apple for its participation in the conspiracy with five major U.S. Publishers to artificially inflate E-book prices. All five of the conspiring publishers settled prior to trial, paying a total of approximately $166 million in nationwide consumer compensation. Most of that money was distributed to consumers in March 2014.
The distribution that will begin this week, which includes the $400 million Apple payment and additional funds remaining from the publisher settlements, should result in over $33 million going to Texans who purchased E-books between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
The Settlement Administrator has set up a website and toll-free phone number for consumers with questions about this distribution. Please visit www.ebooklawsuits.com or call (866) 686-9333 for more information.