Connecticut’s Attorney General Richard Blumenthal seems to think that Apple and Amazon may be enjoying an unfair advantage in the e-book market and has accused the two companies of price fixing.
Blumenthal has requested meetings with the tech giants in an effort to discuss the deals they have with massive e-book publishers Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin.
The AG says both companies have deals with the publishers that promise them the best e-book prices over any competition.
Such “most favored nation” clauses blocks the publishers from offering discounts deeper than what Apple or Amazon receives. While the deals are not illegal under current antitrust laws, they certainly fall into a gray area.
“The concerns are compounded, and hence potentially more troublesome, since this arrangement appears to be something that will be agreed to by the largest e-book publishers in the United States and two competitors who combined will likely command the greatest retail e-book share,” Blumenthal added, via CNNMoney.
Result for: price fixing
Large computer maker Dell has filed suit against five Asian tech companies this week, alleging that all five colluded as a cartel to overcharge for LCD panels.
The suit is against large manufacturers Sharp, Hitachi, Toshiba, Seiko Epson and HannStar Display and was filed in San Francisco.
The complaint notes that Dell is taking action “on behalf of itself and its affiliates to recover for antitrust and other harms arising from billions of dollars of purchases at artificially inflated prices, over several years, of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display panels, or products containing TFT-LCD panels.”
Dell goes as far as to say that the LCD price fixing has been in effect since 1996.
In the past, Sharp was accused and pleaded guilty to price fixing, agreeing to pay a $120 million fine.
Result for: price fixing
The large fine imposed on Nintendo by the European Court over price fixing has been reduced today, from EUR 149.128 to EUR 119.24 million.
The fine, given to Nintendo and seven of its European partners, was over price fixing on consoles between 1991 and 1998. Because all parties co-operated with the court ruling, the fine was reduced.
“The Court recalled that the basic amount of the fine may be reduced where the undertaking has effectively cooperated in the proceedings,” said the new court decision. “In the contested decision, the Commission took account of John Menzies’s cooperation, with the result that it reduced that undertaking’s fine by 40 per cent.
“The Court held that pursuant to the principle of equal treatment, since Nintendo produced the relevant documents at the same stage of the procedure and its cooperation must be regarded as comparable, it must benefit in this respect from the same level of reduction of fine.”