Justice Dept. threatens Apple, others over e-book pricing

Thomas Catan and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg for the Wall Street Journal:

The Justice Department has warned Apple Inc. and five of the biggest U.S. publishers that it plans to sue them for allegedly colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter.Several of the parties have held talks to settle the antitrust case and head off a potentially damaging court battle, these people said.

Apple and major publishers including Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins worked together prior to the iPad’s initial release in 2010 to help break the hold on inexpensive e-books held by Amazon.com and its Kindle e-reader. The European Union is also said to be looking into the matter.