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U.S. sues Apple, publishers over e-book pricing

(Xinhua)

10:09, April 12, 2012

NEW YORK, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five major book publishers on Wednesday, saying they conspired to limit market competition in electronic book pricing.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, Apple made an agreement with publishers on a so-called agency model, in which the publishers would set the retail price and give retailers no power to alter that price.

The conspired move will result in a significant hike in e-book prices, and Apple would be guarantee a 30 percent "commission" on each e-book sold, the law suit said.

The lawsuit alleged the conspiracy came when Apple was preparing to launch the iPad in 2010, aiming to limit Amazon's ability to discount e-books and challenge the market dominance position held by Amazon in the e-book market.

"To effectuate their conspiracy, the publisher defendants teamed up with defendant Apple, which shared the same goal of restraining retail price competition in the sale of e-books," the lawsuit said.

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