In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen says that the US will act against "collusive behavior at the highest levels of companies," and that "competitors can't join together and make agreements on price" — apparently in response to allegations that Apple and five other publishers are working together to raise the price of ebooks. While Pozen didn't specifically mention the DOJ's investigation of alleged ebook price fixing, the agency recently warned Apple and five other publishers that it will sue them for working together to raise the price of ebooks both on consumers and competitors like Amazon, after they quickly switched to a new "agency" model of pricing that Apple chose when it launched iBooks. It's not clear if the US will follow though with suits over ebook publishing yet, but the DOJ isn't mincing words on the subject.
Pozen tells WSJ that "when you see collusive behavior at the highest levels of companies, you know something's wrong. And you've got to do something about it." Pozen's comments don't signal a new stance for the agency — the US has aggressively pursued anticompetitive behavior recently, including the prevention of AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, and inquiry into a proposed Verizon / Comcast deal that some fear signifies a "truce" between the companies. She says that "there are lines that are crossed and that's where we get involved." And based on the government's mounting action over antitrust behavior, it appears that US officials at the highest levels see a lot of lines being crossed in the market.