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E-books lawsuit: Apple denies price-fixing charges

Apple is calling the US Justice Department's allegations that it colluded with publishers to fix e-book prices 'simply not true.'

By Reuters / April 13, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder, right, and Sharis Pozen, acting assistant attorney general, Antitrust Division, left, listens as Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Wednesday. Apple has rejected the DOJ's charges that it price-fixed e-books, calling them 'simply not true.'

Cliff Owen/AP

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Apple Inc has rejected the U.S. Justice Department's allegations that it colluded with publishers over e-book pricing, calling the charges "simply not true."

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The U.S. government had sued Apple and five publishers, saying they conspired to fix the prices of electronic books. It has reached a settlement with three of the publishers that could lead to cheaper e-books for consumers.

In an email to Reuters, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr confirmed the company's position, which earlier appeared in a Wall Street Journal article.

"The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Journal.

Kerris defended the current pricing structure as parallel to Apple's mobile software store.

"Just as we have allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore," she told newspaper.

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