The U.S. Justice Department and Macmillan have reached a settlement over the antitrust lawsuit relating to e-book pricing, which means book retailers will now be able to discount the digital titles of all major publishers in the U.S.
Macmillan is the last of five major publishers to settle the suit filed against them by the Justice Department last year. Three publishers settled in April, while a fourth, Penguin Group, settled in December. Penguin took the step in advance of its planned merger with Bertelsmann’s Random House publishing unit, which is expected to be completed later this year.
The agreement Friday leaves Apple as the only remaining defendant outstanding in the government’s lawsuit. A spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment.
The suit alleged the publishers and Apple colluded to raise e-book prices at a time when Amazon.com was selling new digital best sellers for only $9.99. The government suit said e-book best-seller prices rose to $12.99 and $14.99 following the alleged collusion.