US sues Apple, publishers over e-book pricing

US sues Apple, publishers over e-book pricingNew York, April 12 - The US government Wednesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five major book publishers, saying they conspired to limit market competition in electronic book pricing.

According to the lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Manhattan, Apple made an agreement with publishers on a so-called agency model, in which the publishers would set the retail price and give retailers no power to alter that price, Xinhua reported.

The conspired move will result in a significant hike in e-book prices, and Apple would guaranteed a 30 percent "commission" on each e-book sold, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit alleged the conspiracy came when Apple was preparing to launch the iPad in 2010, aiming to limit Amazon's ability to discount e-books and challenge the market dominance position held by Amazon in the e-book market. (IANS)