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Apple, publishers hold out against settlement in e-book price-fixing case: WSJ

05 Apr 2012 , 10:35

Apple Inc and publishers Pearson and Macmillan are reluctant to agree to terms sought by US and European antitrust authorities investigating possible electronic-book price-fixing, the Wall Street Journal cited sources as saying on Wednesday.

Apple and some of the world’s biggest book publishers are suspected of colluding to push up e-book prices and are under investigation by the US Justice Department and the European Commission.

Reuters reported on 30 March that the US Justice Department could reach a settlement in the case in the next few weeks.

Apple and some of the world's biggest book publishers are suspected of colluding to push up e-book prices. AFP

The Journal, citing sources, reported that CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, HarperCollins Publishers Inc and Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group are inclined to settle. But Apple, Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, are unwilling to, according to the report.

The US Justice Department is seeking to unravel agreements Apple secured from five publishers about two years ago as the Silicon Valley company was launching its iPad and was seeking to break up Amazon’s dominance in the digital book market.

Officials with the Justice Department declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.


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