US/Australia: Startup can proceed with Apple eBooks price-fixing suit

US District Judge Denise Cote has denied appeals by Apple and five publishers looking to fight a lawsuit filed by Australian startup company SNAML last September against the alleged eBooks price-fixing scheme of the defendants.

Apple and five publishers – Hachette, HarperColins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster – were sued by the US Department of Justice on suspicion of orchestrating an eBooks price-fixing scheme. Australian eBook retailer DNAML filed a lawsuit against the companies on claims the upstart was harmed by the alleged collusion.

Apple and the publishers had all filed for US District Judge Denise Cote – who found Apple guilty of price-fixing in the DOJ’s lawsuit – to dismiss the case, but in a 22-page opinion decided that DNAML will be allowed to proceed with its lawsuit.

According to reports, the Australian company could be combined with two related cases filed by Abbey House Media (formerly BooksOnBoard) and Diesel eBook Store successor Lavoho.

Judge Cote scheduled a pretrial conference for next month, reports say, that will include the two other companies.

While Judge Cote noted in her opinion that DNAML will face the difficult “in the extreme” task of proving damages, she added that the company met standards required to proceed with its suit.

Full content: Publishers Weekly

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