The Feds came down hard on five Amazon sellers whom they said participated in a conspiracy to fix the prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold on the Amazon marketplace.
The government issued a press release on Wednesday after the final sentencing in the case, writing, “According to court documents, the defendants agreed with co-conspirators to raise and maintain the prices of DVDs and Blu-Rays sold through Amazon marketplace storefronts, resulting in those products being sold at collusive and noncompetitive prices.”
A seller from New York and his three companies pleaded guilty to price fixing in February after having been indicted last year. On Wednesday, he received a sentence that included 18 months in prison. His three companies – Michelle’s DVD Funhouse, MJR Prime and Prime Brooklyn – were sentenced to $156,520, $125,688 and $61,844 criminal fines, respectively, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
One codefendant received a sentence that included six months in prison and six months of home confinement; another two defendants received a sentence of one month in prison and seven months of home confinement; and one defendant received a sentence of one month in prison and five months of home confinement.
All of the defendants’ sentences included criminal fines, including a fourth company, BDF Enterprises, which was sentenced to a $234,000 criminal fine.
The DOJ press release on Wednesday quoted Deputy Assistant Attorney General Manish Kumar of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division: “Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on online marketplaces, making it more important as ever to protect them from being cheated on the internet. These sentences reflect the division’s commitment to seeking punishment for criminal antitrust violations wherever they may occur.”