On April 11, 2012, the US Department of Justice made good on their threat to file an antitrust lawsuit against technology giant Apple and five of the Big Six publishers: Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. Hours after the suit was filed, three of the publishers — Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and HarperCollins — agreed to settle with the DoJ, allowing Amazon and other retailers to discount their e-book prices for at least two years, among other concessions.
Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin so far seem determined to fight in court, and all deny there was any collusion. In an open letter released after the suit was filed, Macmillan CEO John Sargent first stressed the company’s innocence, then explained that Macmillan could not settle because “the terms the DoJ demanded were too onerous.”
A complete story will appear in the May issue of Locus.