Apple Denies Price Fixing With Publishers

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CUPERTINO, Calif. (UPI) — Apple Inc. on Friday denied colluding with U.S. publishers to fix the prices of electronic books.

“The Department of Justice’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,” company spokesman Tom Neumayr said.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses Apple of conspiring with publishers to try to break Amazon’s hold on book pricing.

The five publishers have also denied the accusations although three of them, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, have agreed to a settlement with the Justice Department.

Some of the publishers have also defined Amazon in statements as a monopoly, apparently attempting to swing their efforts as a way to break up a monopolistic setup, rather than as something meant to harm customers.

The Justice Department, however, says the “nearly quarterly” meetings of company executives, including the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, cost consumers tens of millions of dollars, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The two other publishers involved in the case, Macmillan and Penguin Group, have not settled with the Department of Justice.

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