The U.S. filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc., Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster in New York district court, claiming collusion over eBook pricing.
Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, according to people familiar with the matter. They will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc.
The Justice Department is probing how Cupertino, California-based Apple changed the way publishers charged for e- books on the iPad, a person familiar with the matter said last month. CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and News Corp.’s HarperCollins are seeking to avoid a costly legal battle and could settle as soon as today, two people familiar with the matter said.
The Justice Department said it would announce an “unspecified” antitrust settlement today.
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