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8 March 2012 Comments (1) Views: 134 Apple, iOS

Apple threatened with antitrust lawsuit over eBook price fixing

Apple has found itself in hot water yet again, this time falling foul of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) over possible price fixing for eBooks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the DOJ told Apple and five other top US book publishers of plans to file an antitrust lawsuit, over plans to increase prices of books sold through Apple’s iBooks store.

Traditionally, publishers would charge distributors around half the price of the price for an eBook and Apple is said to have pushed publishers away from that model and into an “Agency model” which sees the publishers set the end price of the book and Apple taking 30% of the sale price in line with the model applied to app publishers.

The new model gave Apple a competitive advantage as rival booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble would have to slash margins in order to compete. The case is expected is culminate in a settlement.

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