Feds Sue Apple Over E-book Price Fixing

Allege Apple deal with publishers drove up prices

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 11, 2012 8:32 AM CDT | Updated Apr 11, 2012 10:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the US' biggest book publishers over allegations that they conspired to fix the price of e-books ahead of the iPad's launch, the Wall Street Journal reports. The conspiracy allegedly aimed to drive up prices, which had settled at around $9.99 on Amazon, and to limit Amazon's ability to discount them.

"Defendants' ongoing conspiracy and agreement have caused e-book consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for e-books than they otherwise would have paid," the lawsuit alleges. Justice is expected to file a settlement with some of the publishers later today, in a deal that will likely end Apple's deal with them, and bring down e-book prices.

Fair goers try out the textunes eBook reader app on an Apple iPad at the Leipzig Book Fair on March 15, 2012 on the fairgrounds in Leipzig, eastern Germany.   (Getty Images)
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