Apple denies involvement in e-book price fixing
| by Anuradha Shetty |
A report by Bloomberg now elaborates on Apple’s response to the earlier reports about them being sued by the U.S government. Apple, reportedly has come out quite strongly against the allegations put forth by the U.S government, accusing the Cupertino brand of conspiring with book publishers, in a bid to fix the prices of ebooks to shake the Amazon off their dominant position in the market. Earlier reports covering the issue had detailed on the U.S government’s allegations stating that Apple even managed to reach a settlement with three book publishers, seeking to provide consumers with cheaper digital books; for which the U.S government had also sued Apple Inc., along with book publishers Macmillan and Penguin. An Apple spokesperson while denying any such action (conspiring to fix prices of digital books), added that, “fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry.”
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The earlier report detailing on the lawsuit had stated, "During December 2009 and January 2010, the publisher defendants' U.S. chief executives placed at least 56 phone calls to one another, the complaint alleges. "As a result of this alleged conspiracy, we believe that consumers paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular titles," Holder said. Apple had no comment about the federal lawsuit. A person familiar with the matter said Apple has not been part of the settlement negotiations.:
The report further adds that the other publishers named in the U.S government’s anti-trust lawsuits that were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, included CBS Corp. (CBS)’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and News Corp.’s HarperCollins managed to settle their cases, just this week after the complaint was filed against them. It was detailed in an earlier report that the publishers who agreed to settle their cases had to pay $51 million in restitution to consumers who bought e-books. Further in her statement, the Apple spokesperson stated that with Apple's entry to the market "customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging," she added, "just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore."
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