12 Apr, 2012

Apple has been sued by the US Government, along with five publishing companies, over the price of e-books.


The lawsuit was filed in New York and accuses the group of price fixing amid a competition battle with Amazon. According to City A.M., Apple and the other companies have been accused of ‘devising schemes’ in order to prevent Amazon from discounting titles.


According to the lawsuit, the accused publishers formed an agreement in which publishers set book prices, as opposed to retailers – with the publisher set price being ‘significantly higher’.


The publishers allegedly involved are Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins.


In addition, the agreement also entitled Apple to a sales commission on each e-book of 30 percent.


The complaint stated, according to City A.M., that ‘Apple facilitated the publisher defendants’ collective effort to end retail price competition by coordinating their transition to an agency model across all retailers’.


It has been reported that settlements with the Department of Justice have already been made by Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, but so far Apple, Macmillan and Penguin have refused to commit to settlement discussions. 

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