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DOJ May Be Close To Settling With Apple

The Justice Department may be nearing a settlement with Apple and major publishers over alleged eBook price collusion. The government agency threatened to sue Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers alleging collusion in eBook pricing.

Reuters has more details about the case: “the settlement is expected to eliminate Apple’s so-called ‘most favored nation’ status, which had prevented the publishers from selling lower-priced e-books through rival retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. or Barnes & Noble Inc., the people said. The deal could also force a shift, at least temporarily, in pricing control from publishers to retailers, one of the people said.”

The DOJ is not the first organization to accuse Apple and the publishing houses of price fixing. Last August, consumer rights firm Hagens Berman filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple and five of the “big six” publishers with a similar claim. The European Union Commission has also been investigating publishers for eBook price collusion.

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