The United States government filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillian, HarperCollins and Hachette SA on Wednesday. The federal government believes that Apple and the publishers partook in a scheme to hike of the prices of eBooks. Such a scheme would be to the benefit of all parties involved but against the interest of consumers.
The Justice Department is examining how publishers changed the prices of their titles once they were available on Apple’s iPad, Bloomberg explained. Several of the publishers are hoping to settle on Wednesday in an effort to avoid a drawn-out and expensive legal battle. The government reportedly wants to allow the publishers to charge the prices they want for books. Apple is currently guaranteed the lowest prices and a 30 percent cut of all eBook sales, which has forced other eBook sellers such as Amazon to follow-suit instead of sticking with a traditional wholesale business model, Bloomberg explained.