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Business News (more headlines) 09-28-2004

Michigan Attorney General Begins CD Distribution

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Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced today the distribution of more than 180,000 music CDs to statewide public schools, libraries, domestic violence shelters, and a local early childhood development charity, Partnership for Learning. The CDs were awarded to Michigan as part of a national antitrust settlement involving several music distributors and retailers. The CDs are valued at more than $2 million. Michigan was one of 45 states that were awarded CDs to distribute to state residents via governmental and charitable organizations.

"I am glad that my office can bring the gift of music directly to so many consumers across this state," Cox said. "All segments of Michigan's population, from infants to the elderly, will benefit from this distribution."

Cox was highly sensitive to distributing particular CD's of music genres and specific title selections that might be inappropriate for younger audiences. Cox's staff worked directly with Michigan's recipients by having them pick the music genres they would receive. In addition, Cox offered the public schools and libraries an opportunity to review and approve the actual music titles they would receive prior to the CDs being shipped out. These gestures were well received by those recipients.

The State Librarian for the Library of Michigan, Christie Pearson Brandau, remarked: "The library cooperatives are extremely pleased with the way the Attorney General's office worked with us on this distribution. I look forward to reporting to the state Librarian's upcoming conference on how well the project is being handled in Michigan, as compared to other states."

In 2003, Cox and 45 other state Attorneys General settled a national antitrust lawsuit brought against several music distributors and retailers for conspiring to fix CD prices. The $143 million settlement included refunds for consumers as well as actual CDs for states to give to those affected by the alleged price fixing. Cox requested that Michigan's portion of the settlement be distributed to non-profit groups, public schools, libraries, and the US military. The US military received their 11,000 music CDs earlier this summer. This distribution will be of 181,009 CDs to a total of 87 recipient groups. The value of the distribution is $2,455,778.16.

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