Penguin to pay $75m to settle class action

Penguin to pay $75m to settle class action

Penguin has agreed to pay $75m to resolve all antitrust claims relating to e-book pricing, having reached an agreement with the US State Attorney General and private class plaintiffs.

The payment will be made to cover consumer damages plus costs and fees relating to antitrust claims of unlawful e-book price-fixing.

In the statement, Penguin parent company Pearson said it had made a $40m provision for settlement in its 2012 accounts. An additional charge to cover the payment will be expensed in Pearson's 2013 statutory accounts as part of the accounting for the Penguin Random House joint-venture.

Penguin is the last of the publishers involved in the case to settle its consumer class action. In August 2012, Hachette US, HarperCollins US and Simon & Schuster US agreed to pay out a total of more than $69m (£43.5m) to resolve the antitrust claims, in settling with the US State Attorneys General and private class plaintiffs.

Macmillan followed suit by settling its consumer class action in February this year, agreeing to pay up to $20m to settle the case.

The statement also said the publisher has separately committed to the State Attorneys General to "abide by the same injunctive relief as previously agreed in a separate settlement with the Department of Justice".

Penguin settled with the Department of Justice over the e-book price fixing case in December 2012, in order to clear the decks ahead of its merger with Random House, scheduled for the second half of this year.

All the other involved publishers have also settled separately with the Department of Justice.