price fixing

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Justice Department Wants to Clamp Down on iTunes

E-book price-fixing case spills over into Apple's other media businesses

(Newser) - The Justice Department is out to make sure that Apple never again fixes the price of e-books —or anything else for that matter. It's asked a judge to ban Apple "from entering into agreements with suppliers of e-books, music, movies, television shows, or other content" on iTunes... More »

Apple Guilty of E-Book Price-Fixing: Judge

Court rules company conspired with publishers to jack up prices

(Newser) - The verdict in the Apple e-book price-fixing trial is in: the company did conspire with publishing companies to push up prices, says a federal judge. "The plaintiffs have shown that the publisher defendants conspired with each other to eliminate retail price competition in order to raise e-book prices, and... More »

Chocolate Prices Rigged: Canada

Nestle, Mars charged; Hershey already expected to plead

(Newser) - The Canadian branches of Nestlé and Mars were both slapped with criminal charges yesterday, with Canada's Competition Bureau accusing both of price-fixing the chocolate market following a 5-year investigation. Hershey was also party to the scheme, which dates to 2007 and earlier, but the bureau recommended leniency because it... More »

Apple Faces Uphill Battle as Price-Fixing Trial Begins

Judge expects 'direct evidence' of 'conspiracy'

(Newser) - Apple's federal court battle over e-book price fixing begins today, and the company has a tough case to make, observes the Wall Street Journal . The government's claim: Apple made deals with five publishers to boost the prices of e-books before the iPad's 2010 launch. "Stripped of... More »

Europe Raids Big Oil Firms, Looking for Price Rigging

BP, Shell, and Statoil involved

(Newser) - European authorities raided the offices of BP, Shell, Statoil, and other companies involved in the oil business yesterday, as part of an investigation into what they suspect is a more than decade-old conspiracy to rig oil prices. The European Commission said it had launched "unannounced inspections" of oil company... More »

Amazon Grabs Major e-Book Win

Get ready for $9.99 e-books

(Newser) - An e-book price-fixing settlement is a victory for Amazon—and could pave the way to lower prices for consumers. A federal judge has approved a settlement between three publishers and the Justice Department after officials argued that a total of five publishers were teaming up with Apple to boost prices... More »

It Might Cost a Little More to Use Your Credit Card

Merchants win right to add surcharge in huge case

(Newser) - Retailers scored a big win versus credit card companies yesterday, settling a seven-year-long lawsuit for $6 billion, plus fees relief that could reach $1.2 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal . Visa, MasterCard, and several large banks agreed to the deal, which will give merchants the option of charging customers... More »

Barclays Chair Resigns Over Rate-Fixing Scandal

Company promises 'root and branch' investigation

(Newser) - Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius resigned today in penance for the company's $453 million settlement in an interest rate manipulation probe. The scandal "dealt a devastating blow to Barclays' reputation," Agius said. "As chairman, I am the ultimate guardian of the bank's reputation." The bank... More »

DOJ Should Have Gone After Amazon, Not Apple

Price-fixing lawsuit focuses on wrong targets: David Carr

(Newser) - When the Justice Department decided to take on "the monopolistic monolith that threatened to dominate the book industry," it chose the wrong targets —five large publishers plus minor e-book player Apple—while ignoring the all-powerful Amazon, writes a dumbfounded David Carr in the New York Times . "... More »

Apple: We Didn't Fix E-Book Prices

Publishers in charge of iBookstore prices: firm

(Newser) - The Justice Department's allegations of an e-book pricing conspiracy at Apple are "simply not true," the tech giant says, according to Reuters . "The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," an Apple rep... More »

Feds Sue Apple Over E-book Price Fixing

Allege Apple deal with publishers drove up prices

(Newser) - The Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the US' biggest book publishers over allegations that they conspired to fix the price of e-books ahead of the iPad's launch, the Wall Street Journal reports. The conspiracy allegedly aimed to drive up prices, which had... More »

US to Go After Apple, Others Over E-Book 'Price Fixing'

Apple, publishers set up across-the-board prices: feds

(Newser) - The US Justice Department has informed Apple and five top publishes that federal attorneys are ready to go to court to prosecute them on charges that they colluded to boost e-book prices, sources tell the Wall Street Journal . Some of the companies are already in settlement discussions with the feds,... More »

Italy Raids Pasta Makers in Price-Fixing Probe

Companies accused of colluding to drive prices up 36%

(Newser) - Financial police have searched the offices of Italy’s top five pasta makers to investigate claims that they’ve rigged the price of rigatoni—and you know, other pasta, too (rigatoni was just alliterative). The investigation has been ongoing since 2007, after consumer groups complained that prices were up as... More »

Cybercops Bust Retailers Whose Deals Are Too Good

(Newser) - Manufacturers have gone on the offensive to stop discounters from selling their products for less than the minimum advertised price they set, reports the Wall Street Journal. But companies like eBay and Costco are pushing for laws to ban the minimum prices. Some retailers, like Circuit City, use workarounds to... More »

Salt Deficit May Make This Scary

States order massive amounts of salt, pinching other areas

(Newser) - City officials in the Midwest are struggling to prepare for another season of heavy snowfall as road salt supplies drop and prices surge, the Los Angeles Times reports. High demand and once-high gas charges have boosted salt prices, but the spike from $40 to $140 per ton seems exorbitant to... More »

Feds Dig Into Price-Fixing by Egg, Tomato Processors

New inquiries add to list of investigations

(Newser) - The Justice Department is investigating allegations of price-fixing by tomato and egg processors, the Wall Street Journal reports today. California processor SK Foods is facing allegations it bribed buyers at six companies to pay inflated prices for tomato paste and chili peppers. Tomato prices have surged 16% over the past... More »

Feds Think Bad Data May Feed Oil Spikes

Broad market probe focuses on price-fixing weak spots

(Newser) - Commodity regulators, worried that some companies are manipulating crude oil prices by reporting false numbers on supplies and sales, are conducting a wide-ranging probe focused on energy traders, the Wall Street Journal reports. Sources say a big worry is that firms are falsely reporting oil inventories to create the perception... More »

Retailers Struggle With Ruling That OK'd Price-Fixing

Enabling manufacturers to set minimum prices leads to collusion, some say

(Newser) - A Supreme Court ruling that last year allowed manufacturers to set minimum sale prices for their goods is giving retailers fits, the Wall Street Journal reports. Manufacturers, barred from the practice for nearly a century, are being allowed to punish retailers who discount their products by cutting off supplies. Some... More »

EU Probes Chocolate Price Fixing

Hershey, Mars, others suspected of conspiracy

(Newser) - The European Commission suspects candy giant Hershey of conspiring with other chocolate and candy manufacturers in an industry-wide price-fixing scheme, AP reports. Both Hershey and rival Mars recently received requests for information from the commission after some 50 civil lawsuits in the US have alleged price fixing. The two companies... More »

Chocolate Makers Face Sticky Probe

US and Canada investigate possible price-fixing

(Newser) - Following a similar investigation in Canada last month, the Justice Department has launched a probe into possible price-fixing in the US chocolate industry. The suspects form a rich, creamy lineup: M&M maker Mars acknowledged it has been contacted by the DOJ, the Wall Street Journal reports. Nestle, too, says... More »

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