The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and book publishers Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Pearson, Penguin, and Macmillan. The suit claims that the publishers — with significant assistance from Apple — colluded to raise prices and force the industry to adopt the “agency model” that allows publishers to set their own prices and gives Apple a 30 percent cut of each sale. (Three publishers — Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins — have already settled, while Macmillan and Penguin have opted to fight the suit. Apple commented to Macworld that the DOJ's accusation is “simply not true.”) The Verge’s Nilay Patel, who has a background in law, looks at many specific aspects of the government’s case, pointing out why the DOJ believes the actions undertaken by the publishing companies constitute open collusion (including actual back room deals and conspiracies).
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