Plaintiffs Oppose Discovery Delay in Lawsuit Against Big 5 and Amazon
In January 2021, lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit against Amazon and the Big 5 publishers alleging the Big 5's use of Most Favored Nations clauses in their book contracts with Amazon is evidence of a conspiracy to fix e-book prices. To simplify, most favored nation means that if the United States has a most favored nation status with another country, that country won't be treated less advantageously than any other country the US has trade relations with.
Two weeks ago, the publishers and Amazon filed a motion to dismiss and requested a stay to any discovery. However, the plaintiff's attorney replied last week that the stay is not merited because the court will not likely rule on the motion to dismiss until January 2022. As such, a stay would create "a risk of unfair prejudice" caused by "fading memories with the passage of time."
The plaintiff's lawyers have proposed "deferred" discovery that would see discovery begin soon, which would include producing contracts, documents produced to governmental agencies that investigated the e-book industry, and e-book sales data. However, the big 5 and Amazon's attorneys have argued beginning discovery would be an undue burden pending their motion to dismiss.
We will just have to wait and see what the court decides. For all the latest developments and legal updates in the publishing industry, continue reading Perry Law's blog.