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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.
More Business News
Last Update on October 02, 2014 08:13 GMT
UNDATED (AP) -- Financial markets got off to a rough start in October as disappointing economic news and Ebola fears drove stocks lower. Surveys indicated German and U.S. manufacturing had slowed last month.
Asian stocks fell Thursday amid similar anxieties.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 1.7 percent to 15,815.45 points and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9 percent to 1,973.31. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.7 percent to 5,295.7. Stocks in Southeast Asia also lost ground. Markets in Hong Kong and China were closed for a public holiday.
In New York, investors dumped airline stocks amid concerns that travel will decline because of the Ebola threat, and bought a handful of drug companies working on experimental treatments for the deadly disease.
Nervous investors shifted their money to havens like bonds and gold.
The blue chip Dow index lost 238.19 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,804.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 26.13 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,946.16 and the Nasdaq composite lost 71.30 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,422.09.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) --The Labor Department will report on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. Economists forecast that weekly applications rose a slight 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000.
Also today, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. factory orders for August. In July, factory orders rose 10.5 percent, the biggest one-month increase on record going back to 1992.
Freddie Mac will report on average U.S. mortgage rates for this week. Last week, the average for the 30-year loan eased to 4.2 percent from 4.23 percent the previous week.
UNDATED (AP) -- The first reported case of Ebola in the United States has caused concern among airline investors and is raising the prospect that some frightened travelers might stay home.
Details of the man's 28-hour trip from western Africa emerged Wednesday. He flew on two airlines, took three flights, and had lengthy airport layovers before reaching Texas on Sept. 20.
Still, federal officials say other passengers on the flights are at no risk of infection because the man had no symptoms at the time of his trip.
Thomas Eric Duncan left Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 19 aboard a Brussels Airlines jet to the Belgian capital, according to a Belgian official. After layover of nearly seven hours, he boarded United Airlines Flight 951 to Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. After another layover of nearly three hours, he then flew Flight 822 from Dulles to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the airline confirmed.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department is following through on President Barack Obama's pledge to get the ball rolling on a higher national minimum wage in the absence of any congressional legislation to accomplish this goal.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has finalized a federal rule raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.
Wednesday's move puts in force a step that Obama announced last February. The Labor Department said nearly 200,000 American workers will benefit from the new minimum, which takes effect Jan 1.
The minimum federal wage is now $7.25 an hour. Obama has proposed the higher pay level for all workers, but that has drawn resistance from Republicans in Congress. In announcing the new rule, Perez says that by raising the minimum wage for workers on federal contracts, the administration "is rewarding a hard day's work with fair pay."
STOCKTON BANKRUPTCY TRIAL
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A federal judge dealing with the bankruptcy issue has struck at the sanctity of public pensions in California.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein ruled Wednesday that federal bankruptcy law allows the city of Stockton to treat pension fund obligations like other debts, meaning the city could trim benefits.
The city of Stockton argued that it must make its pension contributions for public employees before its creditors are paid the entire amount they are owned.
The case is being closely watched because it could help clarify who gets paid first by financially strapped cities around the nation -- retirement funds or creditors.
The ruling was prompted by a key creditor's contention that pension obligations should be treated like other debts.
DETROIT (AP) -- Emergency manager Kevyn Orr has testified in bankruptcy court that when he took over Detroit's finances, he found a city with poor services for residents, next to no cash flow and significant neighborhood blight.
Orr, hired by the state in March 2013 to fix Detroit's finances, took the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. He was called to the stand and questioned by a city lawyer in federal court in Detroit.
Judge Steven Rhodes is to decide whether Orr's plan to remove $7 billion in debt is fair to creditors. Orr has said Detroit's unsecured debt is about $12 billion.
Orr said Wednesday that before he filed for bankruptcy, every creditor wanted to be "paid in full."
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's labor commissioner has filed a complaint against heavy-duty truck and school bus manufacturer Daimler Trucks North America, alleging five employees at its Portland plant were subjected to racial slurs and threats.
A statement Wednesday from Commissioner Brad Avakian says the accusations will be investigated, and if they bear out, workers could be awarded damages including back pay if they've quit.
Among the allegations, according to the statement, is that a Daimler Trucks employee threatened a black co-worker with a noose, saying he'd drag the African-American behind a car.
A statement from Daimler Trucks said it doesn't tolerate discrimination and trains employees to avoid it. It also said the company is cooperating with the investigation and has hired an outside investigator to look into the allegations.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A consumer group is suing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to obtain information used to justify insurance rates in Missouri.
The Consumer Council of Missouri filed the complaint Tuesday in federal court. The agency didn't immediately respond to an email to its press office seeking comment.
The consumer group says the new health insurance law requires the agency to make the rate information public so consumers have the chance to challenge the costs they pay for health insurance. But the suit alleges that HHS has denied its records request.
Missouri is one of several states allowing the federal government to run their health insurance exchange. The suit says Missouri is reliant on HHS for any information regarding health insurance plans to be sold in 2015.
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