Wednesday, April 11, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice today sued Apple Corp. and five major book publishers, accusing the companies of colluding to raise the price of e-books.
The government alleged that the companies worked together to limit e-book price competition, which led to consumers paying tens of millions of dollars more for e-books.
The antitrust suit was filed against Apple and publishers Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin, MacMillan, and Simon & Schuster. The Justice Department said Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have agreed to a settlement.
Ellen Bloom, the director of federal policy at Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said, “We welcome the Justice Department’s action today to ensure that consumers pay a fair price for the e-books they purchase. The arrangement between Apple and publishers appears to have seriously hurt competition and left consumers paying more for e-books. This antitrust suit would put a stop to this practice.”