In a stunning development, federal judge Denise Cote today approved the DoJ’s settlement with publishers over alleged e-book price-fixing—just a day after U.S. attorneys asked the court to forego a hearing and approve the deal. The decision is dated September 5.
Calling the matter a “straightforward price-fixing case,” Cote ruled it “is not necessary to hold an evidentiary hearing” before approving the decree. “Given the voluminous submissions from the public and the non-settling parties, which describe and debate the nature of the alleged collusion and the wisdom and likely impact of settlement terms in great detail, as well as the detailed factual allegations in the Complaint, the Court is well-equipped to rule on these matters. A hearing would serve only to delay the proceedings unnecessarily.”
E-books consumers, “should not be forced to wait until after the June 2013 trial to experience the significant anticipated benefits of the decree,” she adds. “The Government's August 3, 2012 motion for entry of the proposed Final Judgment is granted.”
More to come, but you can read the decision here.