Canadians file class-actions against e-book publishers

Last week, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Apple and five publishers for allegedly colluding on e-book prices, and class-actions suits in the U.S. continue. Three Canadian law firms are filing class-action suits against as well, the Toronto Star reports.
Two Ontario law firms and one Vancouver firm are suing Apple and the Canadian subsidiaries of Macmillan, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette. The Star cites one complaint that says Apple and the publishers’ alleged collusion increased e-book prices by “as much as 50 per cent for most titles over Amazon’s previous prices and reduced competition for e-books in Canada and elsewhere.”
Canadian attorney Charles Wright of Ontario firm Siskinds LLP said, “I would expect that if there’s a change in business practices Canadians would benefit, but the case filed in the U.S. is on behalf of U.S. residents and seeks refunds to U.S. residents and so that would not do anything for Canadian consumers who have already made their purchases. A Canadian action is necessary and desirable to get compensation for Canadian consumers.”
Back in the U.S., in addition to the DOJ suit, Apple and the five publishers are the subject of class-action lawsuits and lawsuits by the states. All the parties met in court yesterday to coordinate the three-pronged suit. All 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico may reach a settlement with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette, which would effectively trump the class-action suit.
The Australian government is also considering a lawsuit against Apple and the five publishers.
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