Simon & Schuster, Hachette And HarperCollins Reportedly Settle With Department of Justice Over e-Book Price-Fixing

Simon & Schuster, Hachette And HarperCollins Reportedly Settle With Department of Justice Over e-Book Price-Fixing


Yesterday, a report broke which noted that the U.S Department of Justice had filed a lawsuit against Apple, and five e-book publishers which current have books in Apple’s iBookstore, over the alleged issue of price-fixing.

The five reportedly involved in the case were Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillian, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, who were each accused of potentially fixing the prices of their digital e-books sold through the iBookstore.

The crux of the issue came down to the aforementioned publishers reportedly switching out to a new business model called ‘Agency Pricing,’ which it is thought is more beneficial to them than the consumer.

The case centers around a deal to switch to agency pricing, where the vendor takes a 30 percent cut of each sale rather than the wholesale model which allows stores to sell books at rock-bottom prices. It was previously believed that the publishers had cut back-room deals with the Government agency after bowing to pressure to withdraw Cupertino’s “favored nation” status.

Reporting on the case, Bloomberg last night published an update to its original article, noting that Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and News Corp-owned HarperCollins had reportedly reached settlement over the issue, according to “two people familiar with the matter.”

CBS Corp. (CBS)’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and News Corp. (NWSA)’s HarperCollins have agreed to settle allegations that they conspired with Apple Inc. to set prices of digital books, two people familiar with the matter said.

Settlement amounts for the three publishers that have managed to settle with the governing body are yet to be disclosed publicly. It is so far unclear if Apple, Macmillian and Penguin have also managed to settle with the U.S Department of Justice over these alleged allegations.

/ Engadget