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Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette May Settle eBook Probe

Reports are circulating that Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers and the Hachette Book Group will consider settling investigations into eBook price fixing in the United States and Europe.

The Wall Street Journal has the story: “While the settlement terms haven’t been finalized, early indications suggest they could have broad repercussions for the fast-growing e-book market. A settlement would likely involve tearing up contracts the publishers signed with Apple when it first introduced the iPad tablet computer in 2010, according to the people familiar with the matter.”

A settlement would likely allow Amazon to set their own eBook prices, which publishers have resisted in the past. According to the reports, Apple, Pearson and Macmillan are reluctant to agree to settlements.

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