Justice Department Plans to Sue E-Book Publishers

In December, the European Union announced that it had opened formal antitrust proceedings to investigate whether the same publishers had “engaged in anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of e-books” in Europe.

Apple gets 30% of the price of any e-book. The Justice Department believes that Apple and publishers have used this model to raise prices across the e-book industry.

According to a report from the Pew Internet and American Life project, e-book reader ownership doubled between December 2011 and January 2012, jumping from 18% to 29%. Media Bistro reported in late February that 2011 e-book sales in the United States were up in 117% over 2010, generating $970 million.

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