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Apple denies ebook price fixing claims

Penguin fights its corner too
Fri Apr 13 2012, 12:11

SELLER OF SHINY TOYS Apple has denied accusations that it, along with five major publishers, conspired to fix ebook prices, calling the claim "simply not true".

In a statement Apple responded to allegations from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) that it and book publishers Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster intentionally kept ebook prices high. Apple added that its ebook pricing is the same used for its App Store pricing, and spurs competition within the publishing industry.

The statement reads, "The DOJ's accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry."

"Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we've allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the Ibookstore."

Penguin also responded to the allegations, telling The INQUIRER, "We have had the opportunity to study the complaint released by the DOJ today and nothing in this lengthy document causes us to veer from that position. The document contains a number of material misstatements and omissions, which we look forward to having the opportunity to correct in court."

The DoJ sued Apple and five publishing firms earlier this week claiming the companies conspired to raise prices anti-competitively. Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster have reportedly reached settlements, but the US government antitrust lawsuit will proceed against Apple, Penguin and Macmillan. µ


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