PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michael Undorf, Deputy Attorney General - Antitrust
Phone: (302) 577-8924
Date: June 21, 2004
ATTORNEY GENERAL BRADY DISTRIBUTES OVER 15,000 COMPACT DISCS TO DELAWARE SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES
CDs part of national anti-trust settlement with music distributors and retailers
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady today announced that 67 Delaware colleges, public high schools, charter schools and public libraries will be the beneficiaries of Delaware’s allotment of 15,347 compact discs of prerecorded music which the state received as its portion of a national anti-trust settlement against compact disc manufacturers and retailers alleged to have engaged in a price-fixing scheme. Some recipient organizations have already received CDs. Others can expect to receive their compact discs by the end of June.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, as approved by the U.S. District Court of Maine, the CDs must be used to further music-related purposes and/or programs reasonably targeted to benefit a substantial number of the purchasers of music CDs. Allotments to colleges and schools were based on student population. The portion of the settlement allocated to libraries will be equally distributed among participating public libraries. Each library, on average, will receive 180 CDs. The compact discs represent a random selection from the distributors and retailers involved in the settlement.
Joyce Konwinski, Media Specialist at Middletown High School was “ecstatic” when she received the school’s 424 CDs. “I’m sure that this wonderful selection of music will greatly benefit the students by exposing them to the diverse areas of music.” Konwinski said.
Attorney General Jane Brady said, “An important responsibility of my office is the enforcement of the state and federal antitrust laws. I am pleased we have been able to achieve a positive result in this case on behalf of consumers in Delaware. My hope is that through this CD distribution, consumers and their families will continue to receive the benefits of this settlement for years to come.”
In addition to the distribution of over $75 million worth of compact discs nationwide, the terms of the settlement also included a direct cash distribution to consumers of over $44 million. In Delaware, nearly 10,000 claimants shared $138,000 of the direct cash distribution. Individual checks were mailed earlier this year to Delaware CD buyers who registered a claim between December, 2002 and March, 2003.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit which alleged that the defendants conspired to illegally raise the prices of certain prerecorded music products by implementing Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies, in violation of state and federal laws. The defendants are music distributors: Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc., EMI
Music Distribution, WarnerElektraAtlantic Corporation, Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., Universal Music Group and national retail chains Transworld Entertainment Corporation, Tower Records, and Musicland Stores Corporation. In agreeing to settle the lawsuit, they have denied all allegations of wrongdoing.