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Apple is last holdout in DOJ e-book case

It must feel pretty lonely in the Apple legal department today. Media and wire service reports say that Apple is the only company that has not made an out-of-court settlement with the US Department of Justice in a price-fixing investigation over the price of e-books.

Macmillan has just settled with government investigators, so now book retailers, including Amazon, will be able to discount books from all the major publishers. Penguin, Hachette, Simon and Schuster and HarperCollins have already settled.

The publishers, and Apple, were accused of collusion in e-book pricing. The government charged that consumers were left with books that were more expensive than if there was competition.

Apple has denied all the charges, and it isn't known whether Apple will settle or fight the case in federal court. The charges were brought last April.

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