Attorney General Announces Anti-trust Lawsuit Against Apple and Others for E-book Price-fixing

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The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday brought a lawsuit against Apple and several publishing companies over a scheme to fix e-book prices.

The suit stems from the 2010 release of the iPad, when Apple reached an agreement with five publishers to release books on its then-new iBookstore. The DOJ said Apple colluded to raise the price of e-books with CBS’s Simon & Schuster, News Corp.’s HarperCollins; Hachette Book Group; Pearson’s Penguin unit and Macmillan.
European authorities are also probing Apple and the publishers for similar antitrust violations.
Before the release of the iPad, Amazon’s Kindle was the preeminent e-book reader on the market. Amazon forced publishers to sell most books at $9.99 — a price that came in below the cost of the books.
The DOJ found that booksellers were unnerved by the discounted e-book price structure Amazon launched in 2007, and they went to Apple in late 2009 to find a way to force Amazon to raise its prices. The iPad proved to be the perfect tool to accomplish that.
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SOURCE: CNN
David Goldman