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Justice Dept. Investigating Apple & “Big Six” On eBook Pricing

The Justice Department may sue Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Pearson, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers, claiming collusion in eBook pricing.

Reuters has more: “The suit brought on behalf of e-book customers, alleges Apple and the publishers colluded to shift e-book pricing from a wholesale method, where retailers pay for the product and charge what they like, to agency pricing, where publishers would tell retailers what they can charge. The class action lawsuit, filed by law firm Hagens, Berman, Sobol, Shapiro, LLP, accuses Apple of being a ‘hub’ for collusion.”

Last August, consumer rights firm Hagens Berman filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Apple and five of the “big six” publishers with a similar claim. The European Union Commission has also been investigating publishers for eBook price collusion.

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