Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) – an attractive stock play by some of the hedge funds we track – likely wants its e-book lawsuit to just go away as quickly as possible – and it looks like it will at least have the trial coming in pretty short order – so does that mean a settlement may indeed come as quickly as Amazon could possibly want? That remains to be seen, of course, but at least a trial judge has put his foot down and isn’t letting both parties in this suit determine an “indefinite” timetable.
Judge Jed Ratkoff, a few days after forcefully rejecting a motion to indefinitely delay proceedings in an e-book anti-competition case, has set a firm and rather aggressive schedule to the case, which has three independent brick-and-mortar booksellers suing Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and six major publishing houses for aligning in special anti-compete agreements so that only certain versions of e-books that are sold either work only on Kindle devices or do not work on Kindles if bought someplace other than at Amazon.
The suit by the indie booksellers claims that the six publishing houses – Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hatchette Book Group and Macmillan – signed agreements with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) that specifically limited the use of digital content only to the various Kindle devices and that these same publishers did not enter into any agreement with brick-and-mortar indies to sell the same digital content.
After the judge rejected the indeterminate timetable motion, he called for an amended complaint from the plaintiffs by Thursday, March 21, and gave the defendants until April 1 to respond or file a motion to dismiss. Replies are then due by April 18, and oral arguments regarding the motions are scheduled for April 25. The judge then told both sides to expect the case to go to trial by late-October.
What do you think about this case against Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)? Do you think these independent booksellers have a case against Amazon and Kindle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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