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Penguin settles with US government in ebook price-fixing case

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50 shades of grey kindle
50 shades of grey kindle

Book publisher Penguin has just settled with the US Department of Justice over an ongoing ebook price-fixing lawsuit. That leaves only Apple and publisher Macmillan out of the original defendants; Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette all finalized a settlement back in September. Like the other publishers, Penguin will terminate its agreement with Apple and other ebook retailers and will be constrained for two years from entering into any agreements that limit retailers' abilities to offer promotions or discounts on Penguin's ebooks.

While Macmillan and Apple appear to still be holding out, there's a chance they could settle sooner or later — both parties settled a similar price-fixing investigation with Europe in early November. That said, Apple has long insisted that it has done nothing wrong, so a reversal of its position is far from a sure thing. With more and more defendants in the DOJ's case electing to settle, however, Apple's defiance may only last so long. Oddly enough, Penguin hasn't settled with the European Commission yet, though the latest word was that talks were ongoing.