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McKenna announces settlement with book publishers

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state e-book consumers will receive $2 million under a nationwide settlement with three of the country's largest book publishers over allegations of price fixing.

Attorney General Rob McKenna announced Wednesday that Washington state's share is part of a $69 million antitrust settlement agreed to by Hachette Book Group Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. and Simon & Schuster Inc. The settlement comes following a two-year investigation by the Connecticut and Texas Attorneys General and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.

The agreement resolves claims of an alleged conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books, and the three publishers will have to allow all online retailers to competitively price all e-books in the future.

A case against two other publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, is still pending. Consumers will receive notifications about refunds stemming from the case in the coming months.

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