Putting Apple’s iBookstore at risk, the Department of Justice sued the company, along with its major publishing partners, over alleged price fixing. Along with Apple, publishers facing prosecution included Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette SA, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, but as sources tell Bloomberg, the latter three publishers settled their suits on Wednesday.
“Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books,” Bloomberg reports, citing sources. As such, they are expected to argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which has long been dominated by Amazon.com.
“Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group was also preparing to fight the U.S. Justice Department in court if necessary,” according to Bloomberg. The Justice Department is apparently probing how Apple changed the way publishers charged for e-books on the iPad, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg last month. The Justice Department said it would announce an “unspecified” antitrust settlement, this week.