W.W. Norton has filed suit against Follett Higher Education for back payments that by next week could total over $9 million, for both print and digital content.

“Despite multiple demands for payment, Follett has failed to remit timely payment on both digital and print sales and currently is many months delinquent on its obligations,” reads Norton’s April 17 complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York. “At the time of filing, Follett owed Norton at least $8,337,126. Based on invoices for printed content and Follett’s own transaction reporting with respect to digital content, the additional amounts due as of April 30, 2024, will be $913,671. Accordingly, if Follett continues to withhold monies it is contractually required to pay to Norton, the total past due amount as of May 1 will be $9,250,797,” the filing states

The suit seeks a finding that Follett is in breach of contract, and, noting in the complaint that other publishers have apparently been paid, a finding that Follett has “unlawfully converted Plaintiff’s property to their own use.” In addition to being paid what is owed, Norton is seeking damages, as well reimbursement of its legal costs and expenses.

"It is unusual for Norton to initiate litigation, but the facts in this case warranted taking that step," a Norton rep told PW, acknowledging Follett's role as a distributor of Norton’s digital and printed content, including textbooks, to colleges. "Follett has failed on an ongoing basis to make payments as due and owes Norton a substantial sum."

Follett officials declined to comment directly on the litigation as "a matter of company policy," but added "it it is our hope this matter will be resolved promptly."