by Dave LeClair
April 21, 2012
The uproar over Apple and their publishing partners' iBooks pricing just won't end. We first covered this story a couple of weeks back when it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice was filing suit against Apple and select publishers over the iBooks sales model. Now, individuals in Canada are seeking damages, but this time it comes in the form of a class-action lawsuit. Basically, this lawsuit claims that Apple and its publishing partners are working together to artificially increase the price of e-books offered through iBooks. If the suit goes as planned, Canadians who purchased a book through the iBookstore would be eligible for partial reimbursement. According to Norman Painchaud, the lawyer who filed the suit in February, "Prices have definitely gone up, so consumers could be eligible for damages." This particular suit was filed in Quebec and Painchaud said there are two similar suits waiting for approval in British Columbia and Ontario. He also said that if any of the individual suits are successful, he expects that all Canadians who purchased books through iBooks would receive damages, regardless of their province. Want to hear the legal mumbo jumbo? Here is the actual wording of the suit, according to AppleInsider:
The anti-competitive nature of this conspiracy, and the Publisher Respondents’ motivation to control ebook pricing, is also revealed by the fact that the price of an ebook in many cases now approaches – or even exceeds – the price of the same book in paper even though there are almost no incremental costs to produce each additional ebook unit. The publishing houses HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Macmillan and Penguin are the publishers named alongside Apple in the allegations.If this suit is successful, it could be very costly for Apple and their partners. We will keep you informed on the progress of the suit as it makes its way through the system.