Clash Over E-Book Pacts May Put Consumer Damages In Doubt

Law360, New York (October 19, 2012, 6:08 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Department of Justice has gotten tangled in a dispute with Apple Inc., Penguin Group USA Inc. and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC over whether the e-book distribution agreements that the publishers inked with the technology giant are "genuine" or not, an issue experts said Thursday could affect whether consumers have the right to seek damages for the companies' alleged price-fixing plot under federal antitrust law.

In a series of letters filed this week, the parties have laid out varying positions on whether the agreements, which let...
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