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DOJ Warns Apple, Publishers on Collusion Over Book Pricing

The U.S. Department of Justice has warned Apple and five U.S. book publishers that it is planning to file lawsuits against them for allegedly colluding to fix the prices of e-books, according to a media report.

The DOJ is preparing lawsuits against Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan, and HarperCollins Publishers, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, quoting anonymous sources.

A DOJ official told U.S. lawmakers in December that the agency was investigating e-book pricing. That announcement followed one by the European Union, which said it was investigating Apple and the same five publishers.

A DOJ spokeswoman declined to comment on the new report, but said the e-book investigation is still open.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comments.

Critics accuse Apple and the five publishers of setting prices in response to Amazon.com's attempt to introduce a US$9.99 rate for most e-books.

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