US sues Apple over e-book price fixing

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US sues Apple over e-book price fixing

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Technology giant Apple and publishers Penguin and Macmillan are being sued over the pricing of e-books. The US Justice department accuses them of collusion . Three other publishers have already settled.

The US Attorney General Eric Holder said as a result of the alleged conspiracy US consumers paid millions more for popular titles.

“…they entered into agreements to pay Apple a 30 per cent commission on books sold through its ‘iBook’ store and that they promised through contracts including most favoured nation provisions that no other book retailer would set a lower price.Our investigation even revealed that a CEO allegedly went so far as to encourage an e-book retailer to punish another publisher for not engaging in these illegal activities,“said Holder.

Apple’s alleged conspiracy dates back to 2010 when it was launching its iPad and was seeking to break up Amazon’s low-cost dominance in the digital book market. Apple denies doing anything illegal.

The lawsuit comes only 24-hours after Apple was judged to be worth $600bn, affirming its position as the world’s most valuable firm.