Government Sues Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Prices

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The U.S. government is taking matters into its own hands when it comes to the pricing of e-books.The Justice Department and 15 states filed a lawsuit with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other major book publishers, saying the tech company conspired to raise the prices of electronic books. Attorney General Eric Holder said executives from the conspiring companies wanted to eliminate competition among e-book sellers. The motivation behind fixing the prices was to get Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) to raise its $9.99 limit on e-books. The fed believes publishers wanted a higher price because Amazon's was substantially lower than their hardcover prices.The Justice Department said the scheme cost consumers more than $100 million in the past two years by adding $2 to $5 to the price of each e-book.A settlement with three of the publishers, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Shuster has already been reached. No word on Apple's response.

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