It looks like Apple and a handful of publishers—Simon & Shuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, Macmillan, and HarperCollins Publishers—may have violated antitrust laws. The Department of Justice has been investigating whether or not the group colluded over the price of e-books and announced its decision on Wednesday to file suit against the publishers and Apple, according to an article in the Washington Post.
The European Commission has undertaken a similar investigation into the e-book industry, according to a prior Washington Post article.
The Department of Justice has already filed paperwork to settle with HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Shuster, while Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple will fight the charges.
This puts Amazon in a powerful position, according to an article in the New York Times, because now the bookseller may get to decide how much an e-book will cost. According to the article, Amazon has already announced plans to drop some of the e-book prices to $9.99 or less, from $14.99.
A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.