Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The media is reporting that Apple and others have a lawsuit filed against them by the Department of Justice for alleged price-fixing, violations under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. (see here, here, and here). The Department of Justice Antitrust Division website has an Antitrust Primer here. It states:
"Price fixing, bid rigging, and market allocation are generally prosecuted criminally because they have been found to be unambiguously harmful, that is, per se illegal. Such agreements have been shown to defraud consumers and unquestionably raise prices or restrict output without creating any plausible offsetting benefit to consumers, unlike other business conduct that may be the subject of civil lawsuits by the federal government."
See also DOJ Press Release, Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Three of the Largest Book Publishers and Continues to Litigate Against Apple Inc. and Two Other Publishers to Restore Price Competition and Reduce E-book Prices