This case was last updated from PACER on 04/12/2021 at 08:27:38 (UTC).

Silverman et al v. Amazon.Com, Inc. et al

Case Summary

On February 11, 2021, Ethan Silverman and Jeffrey Tomasulo (together, “Plaintiffs”),represented by Kellie Lerner of Robins Kaplan LLP (NYC), on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”), Hachette Book Group, Inc. (“Hachette”), HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C (“HarperCollins”), Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC (“Macmillan”), Penguin Random House LLC (“Penguin”), and Simon & Schuster, Inc. (“Simon & Schuster” and, together with the other publishers, the “Big Five” or the “Publisher Defendants” and, together with Amazon, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive, declaratory and other equitable relief in addition to damages, penalties and other monetary relief for anticompetitive use of MFNs. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York  with Judges Debra C. Freeman and Gregory H. Woods presiding.

 

The Plaintiffs have brought this action on behalf of class including all persons who, on or after February 11, 2017, purchased in the United States one or more eBooks sold by the Big Five Publishers through any retailer other than Amazon.

 

In their complaint, the Plaintiffs alleged that Amazon acquired and maintains its dominant position in the market for sales of electronic books (“eBooks”) in the United States, accounting for over 80% of sales, by continuously deploying anti competitive provisions in its contracts with the Big Five publishers who, together, control the United States market for trade books. “In each of its contracts with the Big Five, Amazon requires most favored nation (“MFN”) provisions and similar provisions that have the intent and effect of prohibiting any other retailer of eBooks, such as Apple Books or Barnes & Noble (together with other such retailers, the “Alternative Platforms”), from differentiating their products from Amazon’s—whether by offering lower prices, introducing innovative business models, or developing unique or superior products. These provisions enable Amazon to prevent the Alternative Platforms from capturing any of its market share or otherwise competing, and thus enabling Amazon to maintain and expand its monopoly power.”

 

The Plaintiffs further alleged that “Publisher Defendants’ anticompetitive use of MFNs and similar provisions materially and proximately cause injury to Plaintiffs and the Class, within the meaning of Section 4 of the Clayton Act, and have caused Plaintiffs and the Class to pay supra-competitive prices for eBooks and reduced their choices as consumers.”

 

There are three claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiffs, for restraint of trade, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §1, monopolization, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §2 and for conspiracy to monopolize in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §2. 

 

In their prayer for relief, the Plaintiffs requested the court to find that this action is maintained as a class action under Rules 23(a), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and direct notice of this action, as provided by Rule 23(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiffs also requested the court to find that the Defendant's actions constitute alleged violations and to award damages, penalties and other monetary relief in addition to equitable relief, including injunctive, declaratory and other equitable relief, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 26 and costs of litigation.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:21-CV-01256

  • Filing Date:

    02/11/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Debra C. Freeman

Presiding Judge

Gregory H. Woods

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

Jeffery Tomasulo

Ethan Silverman

Defendants

Amazon.Com, Inc.

HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C.

Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC

Penguin Random House LLC

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (Adr) Provider and Defendant

Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Interested Parties

Mary Christopherson-Juve

Michael Wilder

Sandra Wilde

Shannon Fremgen

Denise DeLeon

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Kellie Lerner

Attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP (NYC)

399 Park Avenue, 36Th Floor

New York, NY 10022

Defendant Attorneys

Charles Scott Lent

Attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP (NYC)

250 West 55Th Street

New York, NY 10019

Joel M. Mitnick

Attorney at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP

200 Liberty Street

New York, NY 10281

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

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

Interested Party Attorney

Steve W. Berman

Attorney at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (Seattle)

1301 Second Ave., Suite 2000

Seattle, WA 98101

 

Court Documents

#53

#1

 

Docket Entries

  • 03/11/2021
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  • Docket(#35) ORDER REFERRING CASE TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE. Order that case be referred to the Clerk of Court for assignment to a Magistrate Judge for General Pretrial (includes scheduling, discovery, non-dispositive pretrial motions, and settlement). Referred to Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman. Motions referred to Debra C. Freeman. (Signed by Judge Gregory H. Woods on 3/11/2021) (mro) (Entered: 03/11/2021)

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  • 03/09/2021
  • DocketMagistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman is so designated. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 636(c) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b)(1) parties are notified that they may consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Parties who wish to consent may access the necessary form at the following link: #https://nysd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/AO-3.pdf. (laq) (Entered: 03/09/2021)

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  • 03/09/2021
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT to Judge Gregory H. Woods. Judge Unassigned is no longer assigned to the case. (laq) (Entered: 03/09/2021)

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  • 03/09/2021
  • DocketCASE ACCEPTED AS RELATED. Create association to 1:21-cv-00351-GHW-DCF. Notice of Assignment to follow. (laq) (Entered: 03/09/2021)

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  • 03/08/2021
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  • Docket(#34) ORDER: While Hagens Berman's request for appointment is currently unopposed, the Court wishes to provide an opportunity for interested persons to state their objection, if any, to such appointment. Accordingly, is HEREBY ORDERED that any opposition to the appointment of Hagens Berman as interim lead counsel in the above-captioned actions shall be due no later than seven days after the entry of this order; any reply to such opposition shall be due no later than four days after the filing and service of the opposition. (Signed by Judge Gregory H. Woods on 3/8/2021) (mro) (Entered: 03/10/2021)

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  • 03/05/2021
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  • Docket(#33) RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Identifying Corporate Parent Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH & Co. KG for Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC. Document filed by Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC..(Mitnick, Joel) (Entered: 03/05/2021)

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  • 03/05/2021
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  • Docket(#32) NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Joel M. Mitnick on behalf of Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC..(Mitnick, Joel) (Entered: 03/05/2021)

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  • 03/04/2021
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  • Docket(#31) NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Robert Michael Swenson on behalf of Simon & Schuster, Inc...(Swenson, Robert) (Entered: 03/04/2021)

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  • 03/04/2021
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  • Docket(#30) NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Jeffrey Leonard White on behalf of Simon & Schuster, Inc...(White, Jeffrey) (Entered: 03/04/2021)

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  • 03/04/2021
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  • Docket(#29) RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Identifying Other Affiliate ViacomCBS Inc., Other Affiliate National Amusements, Inc. for Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Document filed by Simon & Schuster, Inc...(Buchweitz, Yehudah) (Entered: 03/04/2021)

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23 More Docket Entries
  • 02/12/2021
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  • Docket(#5) REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Amazon.com, Inc., re: #1 Complaint,. Document filed by Ethan Silverman, Jeffery Tomasulo..(Lerner, Kellie) (Entered: 02/12/2021)

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  • 02/12/2021
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  • Docket***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING DEFICIENT REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS. Notice to Attorney Kellie Lerner to RE-FILE Document No. #4 Request for Issuance of Summons,. The filing is deficient for the following reason(s): each summons request must be filed separately OR one summons may be requested listing all of the parties on the PDF 'To' section or attaching a 'rider' ensuring that the PDF 'To' section includes 'see attached rider';. Re-file the document using the event type Request for Issuance of Summons found under the event list Service of Process - select the correct filer/filers - and attach the correct summons form PDF. (jgo) (Entered: 02/12/2021)

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  • 02/12/2021
  • DocketCASE REFERRED TO Judge Gregory H. Woods as possibly related to 21-cv-351. (jgo) (Entered: 02/12/2021)

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  • 02/12/2021
  • DocketCase Designated ECF. (jgo) (Entered: 02/12/2021)

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  • 02/12/2021
  • DocketCASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Unassigned. .(jgo) (Entered: 02/12/2021)

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  • 02/12/2021
  • Docket***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING PARTY MODIFICATION. Notice to attorney Kellie Lerner. The party information for the following party/parties has been modified: Ethan Silverman; Jeffery Tomasulo; Simon & Schuster, Inc.. The information for the party/parties has been modified for the following reason/reasons: party role was entered incorrectly; party text was omitted;. (jgo) (Entered: 02/12/2021)

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  • 02/11/2021
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  • Docket(#4) FILING ERROR - SUMMONS REQUEST PDF ERROR - REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to AMAZON.COM, INC.; HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, INC; HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS L.L.C.; MACMILLAN PUBLISHING GROUP, LLC; PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE LLC; SIMON & SCHUSTER, INC., re: #1 Complaint,. Document filed by Ethan Silverman, Jeffery Tomasulo..(Lerner, Kellie) Modified on 2/12/2021 (jgo). (Entered: 02/11/2021)

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  • 02/11/2021
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  • Docket(#3) STATEMENT OF RELATEDNESS re: that this action be filed as related to 21-cv-00351. Document filed by Ethan Silverman, Jeffery Tomasulo..(Lerner, Kellie) (Entered: 02/11/2021)

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  • 02/11/2021
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  • Docket(#2) CIVIL COVER SHEET filed..(Lerner, Kellie) (Entered: 02/11/2021)

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  • 02/11/2021
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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-23904568)Document filed by Jeffery Tomasulo, Ethan Silverman..(Lerner, Kellie) (Entered: 02/11/2021)

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