This case was last updated from PACER on 05/24/2021 at 08:21:16 (UTC).

Bookends & Beginnings LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al

Case Summary

On March 25, 2021, Bookends & Beginnings LLC (“Plaintiff”) on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated, represented by Nathaniel A. Tarnor of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc; Hachette Book Group, Inc; Harpercollins Publishers LLC; Macmillan Publishing Group, Penguin Random House LLC and Ors (“Defendants”) seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties among other reliefs for abuse of monopoly power in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. This case was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York with Judge Debra C. Freeman and Judge Gregory H. Woods presiding.

The Plaintiff filed this complaint individually and on behalf of the class including “all retail booksellers, which, on or after March 25, 2017, purchased print books at wholesale directly from the Big Five Publishers.” And “all online retail booksellers, which, on or after March 25, 2017, purchased print books at wholesale directly from the Big Five Publishers. ”

In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged that “Plaintiff is a bookseller that operates online and as a physical store. Plaintiff directly purchases print books published and sold at wholesale by the five largest publishers in the United States: Defendant Hachette Book Group, Inc. (“Hachette”); Defendant publish and sell “trade books,” a term of art referring to “general interest fiction and nonfiction books,” as “distinguished from ‘non-trade’ books such as academic textbooks, reference materials, and other texts.” for about 80% of the trade books sold in the United States.”

Plaintiffs alleged that “In general, MFNs entitle the buyer to the lowest price or best terms that the supplier offers to any other buyer,6 but combined with Amazon’s market dominance, they serve an anticompetitive purpose that controls the wholesale price of print trade books, destroys Amazon’s retail competition, reduces consumer choices, and creates a disincentive among booksellers to compete on price or non-price promotions in the sale of print trade books. It would increase the Big Five’s book distribution and therefore be in their economic self-interest to let Amazon’s rival booksellers gain market share by offering them lower wholesale prices or exclusive early releases. But Amazon’s contracts with publishers cover practically all the potential avenues a competing bookseller may attempt to use in order to differentiate itself against Amazon. To control wholesale prices, the Big Five agree to anticompetitive restraints that prevent Plaintiff and other booksellers.”

The Plaintiffs further alleged that “By entering into agreements that fix the wholesale price of books and prevent Amazon’s competitors from competing on price or product availability, Defendant Amazon has willfully acquired its monopoly power in the U.S. online retail trade book market, where it accounts for roughly 90% of all print book sales. Such conduct is an abuse of monopoly power in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.”

There are three claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim is for violation Section 1 of the Sherman Act., the second claim is for violation of the Sherman Act- Monopolization (15 U.S.C. § 2) and the third claim is for violation of the Sherman Act- conspiracy to monopolize (15 U.S.C. § 2).

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the court to certify this action as a class action, adjudication that Defendants have violated the laws alleged, grant Equitable relief requiring that Defendants cease their abusive conduct. Plaintiff further requested the court to award damages including Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest along with costs of litigation. 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-02584

  • Filing Date:

    03/25/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Debra C. Freeman

Presiding Judge

Gregory H. Woods

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Bookends & Beginnings LLC

Defendants

Amazon.com, Inc.

HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C.

Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Penguin Random House LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Nathaniel A. Tarnor

Attorney at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

322 8Th Avenue, Suite 802

New York, NY 10001

Alberto Rodriguez

Attorney at Sperling & Slater, P.C.

55 W. Monroe St., Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60603

Jeffrey Hoke Bergman

Attorney at Sperling & Slater, PC

55 W. Monroe Street, Ste. 3200

Chicago, IL 60603

Paul Ethan Slater

Attorney at Sperling & Slater, P.C. (IL)

55 West Monroe St. Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60603

Barbara Mahoney

Attorney at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

1301 2Nd Avenue, Suite 2000

Seattle, WA 98101

Eamon P. Kelly

Attorney at Sperling & Slater PC

55 W Monroe Street, Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60603

Steve W. Berman

Attorney at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (Seattle)

1301 Second Ave., Suite 2000

Seattle, WA 98101

Joseph M Vanek

Attorney at Sperling & Slater, P.C.

55 W. Monroe St., Suite 3200

Chicago, IL 60603

Defendant Attorneys

Charles Scott Lent

Attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (NYC)

250 West 55Th Street

New York, NY 10019

Richard Sutton Snyder, Sr.

Attorney at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

700 13Th St. Nw, 10Th Floor

Washington, DC 20005

Nathan Hembree

Attorney at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP

601 Lexington Avenue, Ste 31St Floor

New York, NY 10022

Ilana Kattan

Attorney at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP

700 13Th Street, Nw, Ste 10Th Floor

Washington D.C., DC 20005

Kaylynn Noethlich

Attorney at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP

700 13Th Street Nw, 10Th Floor, 20005, Ste 10Th Floor

Washington Dc, DC 20005

Robert Michael Swenson

Attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (NYC)

767 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10153

Jeffrey Leonard White

Attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP

1300 Eye St. Nw

Washington, DC 20005

Yehudah Lev Buchweitz

Attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (NYC)

767 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10153

Margaret Anne Rogers

Attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (NYC)

250 West 55Th Street

New York, NY 10019

Saul P Morgenstern

Attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

250 West 55Th Street

New York, NY 10019

 

Court Documents

#1

#37

#36

#35

#34

#33

#32

#31

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/19/2021
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  • Docket>>>NOTICE REGARDING PRO HAC VICE MOTION. Regarding Document No. #40 MOTION for Kaylynn Noethlich to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-24557446. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff., #39 MOTION for Ilana Kattan to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-24557439. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff., #38 MOTION for Richard Snyder to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-24557430. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff.. The document has been reviewed and there are no deficiencies. (wb) (Entered: 05/19/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#40) MOTION for Kaylynn Noethlich to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-24557446. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff. Document filed by Hachette Book Group, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Affidavit, #2 Certificate of Good Standing, #3 Text of Proposed Order).(Noethlich, Kaylynn) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#39) MOTION for Ilana Kattan to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-24557439. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff. Document filed by Hachette Book Group, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Affidavit, #2 Certificates of Good Standing, #3 Text of Proposed Order).(Kattan, Ilana) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#38) MOTION for Richard Snyder to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-24557430. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff. Document filed by Hachette Book Group, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Affidavit, #2 Certificate of Good Standing, #3 Text of Proposed Order).(Snyder, Richard) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#37) RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Identifying Corporate Parent Hachette Livre USA, Inc., Corporate Parent Lagardere North America Inc., Corporate Parent Lagardre Media, Corporate Parent Lagardre SCA for Hachette Book Group, Inc.. Document filed by Hachette Book Group, Inc...(Hembree, Nathan) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#36) NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Nathan Hembree on behalf of Hachette Book Group, Inc...(Hembree, Nathan) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#35) RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Identifying Corporate Parent Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA for Penguin Random House LLC. Document filed by Penguin Random House LLC..(Morgenstern, Saul) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#34) NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Margaret Anne Rogers on behalf of Penguin Random House LLC..(Rogers, Margaret) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/18/2021
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  • Docket(#33) NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Saul P Morgenstern on behalf of Penguin Random House LLC..(Morgenstern, Saul) (Entered: 05/18/2021)

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  • 05/04/2021
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  • Docket(#32) ORDER FOR INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: The Clerk of Court of the Southern District of New York is directed to docket the within ORDER in each of the following actions: Fremgen et al v. Amazon.com, Inc. 1:21-cv-00351-GHW-DCF Sacks v. Amazon.Com, Inc. 1:21-cv-00421-GHW-DCF Weinberger v. Amazon.com, Inc. 1:21-cv-00615-GHW-DCF Bonilla v. Amazon.Com, Inc 1:21-cv-01130-GHW-DCF Silverman et al v. Amazon.Com, Inc. et al 1:21-cv-01256-GHW-DCF Cook et al v. Amazon.Com, Inc. et al 1:21-cv-01369-GHW-DCF Lerner v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al 1:21-cv-01561-GHW-DCF Bookends & Beginnings LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc. et al 1:21-cv-02584-GHW-DCF. The above-referenced related cases having been referred to this Court for general pretrial supervision, it is hereby ORDERED as follows: 1. This Court will hold an initial pretrial conference in these cases, collectively, on July 13, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The conference will be held telephonically, and the parties are directed to call the following Toll-Free Number: 877-411-9748 and use Access Code: 9612281. 2. In each of the above-referenced cases, the parties are directed to file, no later than July 6, 2021, a jointly proposed discovery plan, pursuant to Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Prior to making such filings, however, the parties in the various cases are directed to confer, so as to determine whether a single, coordinated discovery schedule for all of the cases would be appropriate. The parties submissions should address all of the matters set out in Rule 26(f)(3), and should specifically include proposed deadlines for: a. service of initial disclosures under Rule 26(a)(1); b. service of initial document requests and interrogatories; c. any motion for joinder of other parties or amendment of the pleadings; d. completion of fact discovery; and e. expert disclosures and the completion of expert discovery, if any. Initial Conference set for 7/13/2021 at 10:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman on 5/4/2021) (nb) (Entered: 05/04/2021)

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34 More Docket Entries
  • 03/29/2021
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  • Docket(#6) WAIVER OF SERVICE RETURNED EXECUTED. HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. waiver sent on 3/25/2021, answer due 5/24/2021. Document filed by Bookends & Beginnings LLC..(Tarnor, Nathaniel) (Entered: 03/29/2021)

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  • 03/29/2021
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  • Docket(#5) WAIVER OF SERVICE RETURNED EXECUTED. Hachette Book Group, Inc. waiver sent on 3/25/2021, answer due 5/24/2021. Document filed by Bookends & Beginnings LLC..(Tarnor, Nathaniel) (Entered: 03/29/2021)

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  • 03/26/2021
  • DocketCASE REFERRED TO Judge Gregory H. Woods as possibly related to 21-cv-351. (jgo) (Entered: 03/26/2021)

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  • 03/26/2021
  • DocketCase Designated ECF. (jgo) (Entered: 03/26/2021)

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  • 03/26/2021
  • DocketCASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Unassigned. .(jgo) (Entered: 03/26/2021)

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  • 03/26/2021
  • Docket***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING PARTY MODIFICATION. Notice to attorney Nathaniel A. Tarnor. The party information for the following party/parties has been modified: Bookends & Beginnings LLC. The information for the party/parties has been modified for the following reason/reasons: party text was omitted;. (jgo) (Entered: 03/26/2021)

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  • 03/25/2021
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  • Docket(#4) STATEMENT OF RELATEDNESS re: that this action be filed as related to 21-cv-351. Document filed by Bookends & Beginnings LLC..(Tarnor, Nathaniel) (Entered: 03/25/2021)

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  • 03/25/2021
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  • Docket(#3) RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by Bookends & Beginnings LLC..(Tarnor, Nathaniel) (Entered: 03/25/2021)

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  • 03/25/2021
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  • Docket(#2) CIVIL COVER SHEET filed..(Tarnor, Nathaniel) (Entered: 03/25/2021)

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  • 03/25/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Amazon.com, Inc., Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC, Penguin Random House LLC, Simon & Schuster, Inc.. (Filing Fee $ 402.00, Receipt Number ANYSDC-24307828)Document filed by Bookends & Beginnings LLC..(Tarnor, Nathaniel) (Entered: 03/25/2021)

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