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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 November 25, 2014 18:10 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.9 percent annual rate in the July-September period, even faster than first reported, giving the country its strongest back-to-back quarters of growth in more than a decade.
The Commerce Department says the third quarter growth rate climbed from an initial estimate of 3.5 percent because of greater spending by consumers and businesses. The figure followed a 4.6 percent surge in the spring, which resulted in the biggest consecutive quarters of growth since 2003.
Analysts believe growth could slow to around 2.5 percent in the current quarter but then accelerate again in 2015. They expect growth of around 3 percent, representing a sustained acceleration in activity six years after the Great Recession.
PARIS (AP) -- A major international organization is calling on Europe to relax its fiscal rules and for governments to spend more money, saying Europe's sluggishness is dragging down the global economy.
Tuesday's report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a gathering of the world's richest countries, says Europe has consistently underperformed economically and risks remaining economically stagnant unless demand picks up. The report also calls for major reforms in Japan, saying its debt is unsustainable.
EU requirements that members keep budget deficits below 3 percent of GDP are coming under increasing pressure as the bloc's economy fails to pick up.
Germany, a fierce defender of the budget rules, was taken to task in the report, which called on the government to invest more in childcare and infrastructure.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A fresh survey finds U.S. consumer confidence down in November following a big gain in the previous month.
The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index fell to 88.7 in November, down from a seven-year high of 94.5 in October.
Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says that the decline primarily reflects reduced optimism in the short-term outlook, as consumers expressed less confidence in current business conditions and the present state of the job market.
But she adds that expectations about future income remain virtually unchanged. With gas prices falling, this should help boost holiday sales.
NEW YORK FED-HOUSEHOLD DEBT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans are slowly but steadily borrowing more money, bringing to an end a five-year effort to cut household debt that has slowed consumer spending and the economy.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says total household debt increased $78 billion in the July-September quarter to $11.7 trillion, led by rising mortgage and auto loans. That is the fourth increase in household debt in the past five quarters.
Total debt is still below the peak of nearly $12.7 trillion reached in the third quarter of 2008. But it has risen 5 percent since bottoming out in the second quarter of last year.
The sustained increase is a sign that Americans are more confident and willing to spend more, trends that could fuel faster economic growth.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose in September at the slowest pace in more than two years, reflecting modest sales gains and a rising number of available homes.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 4.9 percent in September from 12 months earlier. But that's down from 5.6 percent in August and the smallest gain since October 2012.
Home price gains have slowed this year after rapid, double-digit increases in the previous two years. Investors helped drive the strong gains by bidding up prices but have started to cut back on their purchases.
The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The September figures are the latest available.
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. bank earnings rose 7.3 percent in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, as banks reduced their expenses and continued to lend out more money, which help drive up revenue.
The data issued Thursday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. showed a robust picture as the banking industry continues to recover from the financial crisis that struck six years ago.
Banks and other financial institutions insured by the FDIC earned $38.7 billion in the third quarter, up from $36.1 billion a year ago. The percentage of unprofitable banks fell to 6.4 percent of institutions, versus 8.7 percent a year ago.
The agency said the number of "problem banks" fell to 329 during the quarter, the lowest since the first quarter of 2009. Only two insured banks failed last quarter.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thanksgiving could be the best day to shop all year.
An analysis of sales data and store circulars contradicts conventional wisdom that Black Friday is when shoppers can get the most and biggest sales of the year.
Turns out, shoppers will find more discounted items in stores that are open on Thanksgiving. An analysis of promotions for The Associated Press by researcher MarketTrack, for example, shows a total of 86 laptops and tablets deeply discounted as door buster deals at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and others on the holiday compared with just nine on Black Friday.
And on the Web, discounts will be deeper on the holiday. Adobe, which tracks data on 4,500 retail web sites, finds online prices on Thanksgiving are expected to be about 24 percent cheaper compared with 23 percent on Black Friday and 20 percent on Cyber Monday.
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