DOJ Settles With 3 Publishers in Apple E-Book Antitrust Suit

DoJ E-Book SettlementImage via Shutterstock.

The Department of Justice has reached a settlement with three of the publishers targeted by this morning’s antitrust lawsuit, Attorney General Eric Holder announced (via 9to5Mac). Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster have reached an agreement with the Department, ending their involvement in the litigation.

While the exact details have not been disclosed, the settlement is said to grant the publishers “freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles,” which will allow Amazon to return to a wholesale pricing model if it so chooses.

Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin refused to settle and will continue to fight the issue against the DoJ in court. Macmillan CEO John Sargent published an open letter today, calling the agency model that is at the heart of this litigation the future of “an open and competitive market.” 

He added, “The government’s charge is that Macmillan’s CEO colluded with other CEO’s in changing to the agency model. I am Macmillan’s CEO and I made the decision to move Macmillan to the agency model. After days of thought and worry, I made the decision on January 22nd, 2010 a little after 4:00 AM, on an exercise bike in my basement. It remains the loneliest decision I have ever made, and I see no reason to go back on it now.”