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Tennesseans to Receive $2.8 Million from E-Book Price-Fixing Agreement
Tennesseans will begin receiving account credits or checks this week in a partial agreement resolving an E-book price-fixing lawsuit brought by Attorney General Bob Cooper and attorneys general from 32 other states.
The lawsuit, calling for $166 million nationwide payment, was brought against Apple, Inc. and five of the six largest E-book publishers in the country three years ago. Those E-book publishers are Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster Inc., Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC, d/b/a Macmillan, and Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Tennessee’s share is approximately $2.8 million The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has now approved those agreements after finding they conspired to restrain trade in violation of federal and state laws.
“My Office is happy that Tennesseans will receive this compensation soon,” Attorney General Bob Cooper said. “Unfortunately, it took approximately three years to prove consumers paid millions of dollars more than they should have because these companies conspired to artificially raise the price of E-books.”
It has not yet been determined how many Tennesseans will receive funds. As part of the agreement, consumers will receive an account credit or check based on the number of eligible E-books they bought during the claims period (April 1, 2010 to May 21, 2012). Whether a consumer receives a credit or check depends on the retailer through which consumers bought their E-books. In certain circumstances, the payment depends upon whether a claim was properly filed or on whether a consumer specifically requested a check. Eligible consumers should review their email for communications from their E-book retailer, or from the Settlement Administrator, regarding account credits or checks. For more information on the settlements, please visit www.ebookagsettlements.com.
Apple declined to settle the claims against it, and the District Court conducted a three-week trial in June 2013. Following that trial, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote found 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. A second trial to determine the amount of damages Apple must pay for that violation has been tentatively scheduled for May. If successful, additional account credits or checks will be distributed to Tennessee consumers in the future.
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Last Update on September 17, 2014 07:32 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve concludes its latest policymaking meeting this afternoon, and analysts will be examining their statement for any changes in tone.
The Fed has held a key short-term interest rate close to zero for more than five years, making it cheaper for companies and consumers to borrow and boosting corporate profits. But investors widely expect the Fed to start raising rates in the middle of next year.
There are three economic reports of note this morning. The Labor Department releases its Consumer Price Index for August, while the Commerce Department releases the current account trade deficit for the second quarter.
A little later this morning, the National Association of Home Builders releases its housing market index for September.
And from the corporate world, FedEx reports its quarterly financial results before the market opens.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans, Japanese and many Europeans aren't sold on the benefits of trade. But people in China and other developing countries are far more convinced that it delivers jobs and higher wages.
That's according to a Pew Research Center international survey released Tuesday.
The center found that 50 percent of Americans say trade destroys jobs, while just 20 percent say it creates them. People in Italy, France and Japan are also far more likely to view trade as a job destroyer than as a job creator.
In China, Pew found 67 percent say trade creates jobs, and 61 percent say it raises wages. People in most emerging-market countries, from Vietnam to Tunisia, share that view of trade.
Pew surveyed over 48,000 people in 44 countries from March 17 to June 5.
UNDATED (AP) -- A number of the NFL's biggest sponsors say they are not happy with the recent controversy that has engulfed the league.
Anheuser-Busch issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was "disappointed and increasingly concerned" by recent incidents and was not yet satisfied with the league's response. It says it has shared its concerns and expectations with the NFL.
The league has come under fire for its handling of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's assault of his then-fiancee. The Minnesota Vikings have also been criticized for allowing Adrian Peterson to play while he faces a charge of abuse for spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch.
McDonald's, Visa and Campbell Soup Co. say they have also voiced similar concerns to the league.
Sponsorship consultancy IEG says Anheuser-Busch's sponsorship fees alone are worth an estimated $50 million a year to the NFL.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil.
On Tuesday, the space agency announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden named the winners at a late-afternoon news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The news had been eagerly anticipated for weeks.
The deal will end NASA's expensive reliance on Russia. U.S. astronauts have been riding Russian rockets ever since NASA's shuttles retired in 2011. The latest price tag is $71 million per seat.
NASA has set a goal of 2017 for the first launch under the commercial crew program. Both companies will use crew capsules. Launches will originate from Cape Canaveral.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A new federal report finds hospitals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy.
The study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Inspector General Office was released Wednesday. It's based on surveys of 172 hospitals hit hard by the storm in October 2012.
It finds that hospitals had surges in patients that were unexpected as well as power outages and problems with backup generators and transportation to get employees into work.
It says nearly 90 percent of the hospitals faced "critical challenges."
In many cases, the issues had been identified in citations for deficiencies issued in the years before the storm.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Endo International PLC says it is making an unsolicited offer for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals that values Auxilium at $28.10 per share.
The deal is worth $1.41 billion in cash and stock, based on Auxilium's shares outstanding. Endo values the offer at $2.2 billion. It comes at a premium of 31 percent based on the Tuesday closing price of Auxilium shares.
Dublin-based Endo says the two companies have complementary products and added that there are significant opportunities for savings.
Auxilium, based in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, is struggling with reduced sales of its testosterone gel Testim and said this month that it would cut 30 percent of its workforce as part of a plan to save $75 million per year.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares are up about 4 percent for the year to date.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California will no longer be the only western state with a pump-as-you-please approach to groundwater.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday requiring local agencies with depleted supplies to begin managing their wells. The state can intervene if necessary.
The worst drought in a generation gave momentum to three bills by Assemblyman Roger Dickinson of Sacramento and Sen. Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills, both Democrats.
Groundwater makes up nearly 60 percent of the state's water use during dry years but is not monitored and managed the same way as water from reservoirs and rivers.
Over-pumping of groundwater has led vast swaths of land to sink.
Republicans and Central Valley Democrats criticized the legislation, saying it punishes well-managed agencies and infringes on water rights.
DALLAS (AP) -- Customer-service agents at American Airlines are voting overwhelmingly to join a union and reverse a "no" vote in 2013.
Federal labor officials announced the results Tuesday in voting that covered about 14,000 employees at airports and reservations centers and home-based agents.
About 86 percent of those voting are favoring representation by the Communications Workers of America and the Teamsters. The CWA lost a previous election in January 2013 by about 150 votes.
CWA President Larry Cohen says the difference in the outcome is that unlike previous management, American's current executives did not campaign against the union.
Negotiations on a contract covering wages and other items are expected to begin this fall.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Corinthian Colleges is being sued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for what it calls a "predatory lending scheme."
The CFPB is seeking more than $500 million for borrowers who used the for-profit education company's private student loans. The CFPB says that Corinthian misled students about their job prospects, in some cases paying employers to offer temporary jobs to graduates.
The agency also says Corinthian charged as much as $75,000 for a bachelor's degree and pushed students into private loans with interest rates of roughly 15 percent, more than double the rate for a federal loan.
The agency says that more than 60 percent of Corinthian students with those loans defaulted within three years.
Shares of Corinthian Colleges Inc., based in Santa Ana, California, plunged almost 30 percent Tuesday.
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