Penguin settles in e-book pricing suit

Dec. 19, 2012 at 8:55 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Penguin Books says it has agreed to settle with the U.S. Justice Department over alleged e-book price-fixing, joining other major publishers who've deals.

The agreement isolates Apple and Macmillan as the only publishers who have not settled, leaving them facing a trial slated for June, TG Daily reported Wednesday.

Previously, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster negotiated agreements in the face of accusations they circumvented retail price competition, causing consumers to pay millions of dollars more for e-books.

"If approved by the court, the proposed settlement with Penguin will be an important step toward undoing the harm caused by the publishers' anti-competitive conduct and restoring retail price competition so consumers can pay lower prices for Penguin's e-books," said Jamillia Ferris, chief of staff and counsel at the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

"Since the department's settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, consumers are already paying lower prices for the e-book versions of many of those publishers' new releases and bestsellers," she said.

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