The U.S. Department of Justice is filing suit against Apple Inc. and five major book publishers for allegedly colluding to fix the price of e-books.
The lawsuit charges that Apple and other publishers entered into an agreement to remove price competition for retail e-books thus causing e-book prices to increase significantly and guaranteeing Apple a 30% commission on each e-book it sold. The agreement, the suit alleges, drove prices up to avoid retail price competition from Amazon, in violation of antitrust laws.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in New York by Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and the head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, Sharis Pozen, and names Apple, along with Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette and Penguin. According to Bloomberg News, CBS Corp.'s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA's Hachette Book Group and News Corp.'s HarperCollins have settled their suits today.
Andy Fixmer, Bloomberg News Reporter