When the iBookstore came to the Apple iPad, I was overjoyed. I love to read but I don’t like keeping shelves of books around. Apple and several big-name book publishers evidently had a different reason to be overjoyed — higher prices for e-books on the Apple iPad when compared to Amazon Kindle prices.


Today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Apple and several publishers — including Penguin, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins — alleging that the companies colluded in a price-fixing scheme.


Attorney General Eric Holder revealed more details about the case during an April 11 press conference.


“During regular, near-quarterly meetings, we allege that publishing company executives discussed confidential business and competitive matters — including Amazon’s e-book retailing practices — as part of a conspiracy to raise, fix, and stabilize retail prices. In addition, we allege that these publishers agreed to impose a new model which would enable them to seize pricing authority from bookstores; that they entered into agreements to pay Apple a 30 percent commission on books sold through its iBookstore; and that they promised — through contracts including most-favored-nation provisions — that no other e-book retailer would set a lower price. Our investigation even revealed that one CEO allegedly went so far as to encourage an e-book retailer to punish another publisher for not engaging in these illegal practices.” Source: DOJ


Although the lawsuit was just announced, the DOJ has already settled with a few publishers including HarperCollins. The settlement will allow e-book retailers like Amazon to set its own book prices and prevent publishers from sharing sensitive information with one another.

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.