Apple Inc. has been hit with an antitrust suit by the U.S. Justice Department in a case that also names Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, Bloomberg reports. The case involves alleged price fixing on digital books, the story reports.
Bloomberg reports: “Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, according to people familiar with the matter. They will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc.”
Some of the companies involved in the case — CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster, News Corp.’s HarperCollins and Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group — reportedly agreed today to settle their lawsuits, the story says.
The report adds: “The Justice Department is probing how Cupertino, California-based Apple changed the way publishers charged for e-books on the iPad, a person familiar with the matter said last month. The Justice Department said it would announce an ‘unspecified’ antitrust settlement today.”
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department’s antitrust division declined comment, as did reps for Apple, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin and Macmillan, the story notes.