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Judge approves settlement for Hachette, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins in e-book lawsuit

Zachary Lutz
September 6, 2012
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It's a big day in the world of e-books, and not just for the crew at Amazon. Today, Judge Denise Cote approved settlement terms for three of the publishers accused by the Justice Department of price fixing. Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins each agreed to settle with the government, rather than face trial -- as Apple, Macmillian and Penguin Group will do in June of 2013. As part of the settlement agreement, each of the publishers will be required to terminate their contracts with Apple within one week. Similarly, they will be required to end contracts with other e-book retailers where clauses exist that would hinder the seller's ability to set pricing. Further, the settling companies won't be able to form contracts for the next two years with e-book retailers that would hinder the seller's discretion to set pricing.

During the settlement approval period, individuals and companies alike were given 60 days to weigh in on the matter, which included objections from the American Booksellers Association, the Authors Guild and Barnes & Noble. Ultimately, Judge Cote determined that arguments against the settlement were "insufficient" to block the approval.

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