News & Announcements

Weil Wins Dismissal of All Claims for Simon & Schuster in Putative Nationwide Antitrust Class Actions

On March 4, Weil won another significant victory for longtime client Simon & Schuster (S&S), when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the dismissal of all claims against S&S and other book publishers in a nationwide, industry-wide antitrust putative class action.

In the case, brought against S&S, four other major book publishers, and Amazon, plaintiffs accused Amazon of scheming with the publishers on price restraints that caused customers to overpay for eBooks if they didn’t shop on Amazon’s website, in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.

This win comes on the heels of another victory that Weil won for S&S in August 2023, in a related antitrust putative class concerning print books, where the plaintiff alleged that S&S and the other book publishers conspired with Amazon to sell print books to Amazon at discriminatory prices not offered to independent booksellers, in violation of Sherman Act Section 1 and the Robinson-Patman Act.

S&S and the other publishers filed motions to dismiss both cases. In July and August 2023, U.S. Magistrate Judge Valerie Figueredo recommended that the motions be granted in full as to all claims against S&S and the other publishers in both cases. Her recommendations rested on many different grounds, including her findings that the complaints failed to plausibly allege any unlawful conspiracies among the publishers under the Sherman Act or any unlawful price discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act.

On August 25, 2023, U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods adopted the Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation in the print books case in full, dismissing that case in its entirety with prejudice. Weil led the briefing on behalf of all publisher defendants in the print books case.

Most recently, on March 4, Judge Woods also fully adopted the Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation in the eBooks case, dismissing all claims against S&S and the other publishers in full with prejudice.

This continues a long track record of successful results – encompassing 10 victories at the motion to dismiss and summary judgment stages, as well as on appeal – Weil has achieved for S&S over a span of more than a decade in major antitrust litigations regarding the markets for print and eBooks.

The Weil team was led by Complex Commercial Litigation partner Yehudah Buchweitz, who argued the motion to dismiss in the print books case, and Antitrust partner Jeff White, and included counsel Lisa Pieters and Robert Taylor, and associates Krystel Delauney, Josef Trachtenberg, Christina Swiatowy and Elise Simon.