In all of the coverage of did-they-or-didn’t-they aspect to the Apple ebook price fixing lawsuit, very little news came out about how the alleged secret meetings and publisher plots to take down Amazon actually affected the consumers. This week Publisher’s Weekly‘s Andrew Albanese posted an article that details the actual breakdown by state of how many consumers were overcharged due to the anti-trust violations, as well as a breakdown of how many books each of the publishers involved in the case sold to consumers at what the Department of Justice declared to be over-inflated prices based on collusion.
According to the article, which cited data provided by Roger G. Noll, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow in the Stanford Institute for Economic Research, and his team, the actual number of ebooks was 149,424,374. According to Noll’s metrics and based on an average of what consumers would have paid before the price increases, he estimates that the publishers overcharged readers by $307,808,414.
According to Albanese, the actual breakdown per publisher is as follows:
- “Hachette’s damages were put at $54,971,899 on total e-book revenues of 280,353,383 during the period.
- HarperCollins damages were $62,033,851 on $279,204,694 in e-book revenues.
- Macmillan’s damages were put at $17,013,853 on e-book revenues of $212,238,705.
- Penguin was assessed with damages of $105,779,657 on e-book revenues of $481,408,045.
- Simon & Schuster was assessed with damages of $68,009,155 on total e-book revenues of $295,019,073.”
While the publishers have settled their suits prior to the DoJ case against Apple for a total of $166 million, Judge Denise Cote, who presided over the DoJ lawsuit, still has to rule on the actual damages Apple will pay. Apple’s damages trial is slated to begin in May of next year, but its attorneys are currently in the process of appealing Cote’s July ruling.