1. Sutts, Strosberg LLP is co-counsel with Andrew Morganti in a class action commenced in Windsor, Ontario on February 23, 2012.
2. Counsel in companion actions commenced in British Columbia (Branch MacMaster LLP ) and Québec (Sylvestre Fafard Painchaud) are co-operating with us to prosecute the actions nationally.
3. The lawsuit alleges that from April 1, 2010, Apple Inc., Hachette Book Group Canada Ltd., Hachette Book Group, Inc., Harpercollins Canada Limited, Harpercollins Publishers, Inc., Macmillan Publishers, Inc., Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Pearson Canada Inc., c.o.b. as Penguin Group (Canada), Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc. and Simon & Schuster, Inc. ( the “Defendants”) conspired to fix the prices at which eBooks were sold in Canada and worldwide.
4. Justice Terrence Patterson of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has been appointed the case management judge for the Ontario action.
5. The plaintiffs in the actions across Canada have reached a proposed national settlement with the five sets of Publisher Defendants. The Settling Defendants did not admit liability, but they agreed to pay in total $3.175 million for the benefit of the settlement class members and to provide co-operation to the plaintiffs in prosecuting the actions against the remaining Non-settling Defendant.
6. The Courts have certified/authorized the Ontario action (which covers the class in all of Canada except the province of Québec) and the Québec action as class proceedings against the Settling Defendants for settlement purposes only. Class members are: All persons in Canada who purchased eBooks in Canada between April 1, 2010 and September 22, 2014, except the Defendants and their affiliated officers, subsidiaries and affiliates.
8. The date by which potential class members had to exclude themselves from the class if they did not wish to participate has passed, as has the date to make any objections to the proposed settlement to the Courts. No opt outs or objections to the settlement were received.
SETTLEMENT APPROVAL HEARINGS
9. The Courts were asked to approve the settlement agreements with these groups of defendants at hearings held in Windsor, Ontario on October 6, 2014 and in Montréal, Québec on October 14, 2014.
10. On October 6, 2014, the Ontario Court approved the settlement agreement and authorized counsel to continue to hold the settlement amount in trust for the benefit of the class members while the litigation continues against the Non-settling defendant, Apple, Inc. The Ontario Court also approved counsel’s fee agreement with the Ontario plaintiff and awarded counsel fees and litigation expenses from the settlement amount. The Ontario Approval Order may be viewed here. The Ontario Fees Order may be viewed here.
11. Once the Québec Court has issued its orders, they will be posted on this website.
THE ONGOING ACTION
12. The actions are ongoing against the Non-settling Defendant, Apple Inc..
13. A schedule for steps in the Ontario action has been agreed to with the Ontario Court. The plaintiff has filed her certification record in Ontario and a responding record has been received from Apple. The plaintiff’s responding certification record is the next step in the litigation and will be filed shortly.
14. An important part of the settlement is the co-operation the Settling Defendant Publishers will provide to counsel to assist in the ongoing prosecution of the actions against Apple. Once the settlement agreement is approved by both Courts and once any appeal periods have run, proffers will be scheduled with the Settling Defendants to obtain this co-operation.
15. If you would like to speak to someone at Sutts, Strosberg LLP about this class action, please use our toll free line 1.800.229.5323, extension 8296.
16. If you would like to know more about how a class action works, click here.