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Lawsuit accuses record labels of price fixing

updated 11:45 pm EDT, Wed July 20, 2011

Judge approves class-action status

US District Jude Loretta Preska has allowed a class-action lawsuit against RIAA music labels to continue forward. The lawsuit, which accuses major labels of conspiring to fix prices for digital music distribution, will be pursued under the Sherman Act to explore potential antitrust violations of federal law. Similar antitrust actions under New York state law will also be investigated, as well as other claims related to consumer protection and unjust enrichment.

Plaintiffs claim that EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner quietly agreed to set a wholesale base price of 70 cents for each track that was distributed digitally, driving portals such as iTunes and Amazon MP3 to adopt 99-cent pricing. Even with slightly variable pricing, tracks typically range from 69 cents to $1.29 from most sellers.

The labels achieved an early win in the proceedings, convincing Judge Preska to dismiss the suit, however the case was set in motion again following an appeal. [via Courthouse News]




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    considering the fact

    that most music is manufactured now and all pretty much sounds the same, is there a problem with this?

  1. fizzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    CDs cost the same

    Go to a store, and CDs from different labels all cost the same. They are also the same at different stores, plus or minus a few cents. I don't get what this suit is trying to prove.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    huh?

    How is Apple not a defendant in this lawsuit? They had for years argued that songs should cost 99 cents. That's it. Set in stone. Variable pricing is stupid. If that isn't price fixing, I don't know what is.

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