It looks like Apple’s effort to turn the page on the publishing industry by distributing eBooks via the iPad is hitting a bit of a snag.
As first reported by Bloomberg Business Week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Apple and multiple publishers (Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster) over how eBooks are priced on the iPad.
Earlier this year, Apple announced its aim to redefine the publishing industry by collaborating with major publishers to distribute textbooks and other titles directly to the iPad. Apparently, these collaborations are too close for comfort, at least as the Justice Department sees things.
Says Bloomberg Business Week:
The Justice Department is probing how Cupertino, California-based Apple changed the way publishers charged for e- books on the iPad, a person familiar with the matter said last month. CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and News Corp’s HarperCollins are seeking to avoid a costly legal battle and could settle as soon as today, two people familiar with the matter said.
The Justice Department said it would announce an “unspecified” antitrust settlement today.