Bloomberg News is reporting that when the U.S. Justice Department officially moved to file suit against Apple and the “Agency 5”, all but Apple and one of the publishers named in the suit negotiated a settlement. From Bloomberg:
Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, according to people familiar with the matter. They will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)…
If the settlement reached with the other three publishers is approved, retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble could once again set the price of books sold via their outlets. The settlement also requires the publishers to terminate their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements with Apple and other e-books retailers, Holder said.
“In addition, the companies will be prohibited for two years from placing constraints on retailers’ ability to offer discounts to consumers. They will also be prohibited from conspiring or sharing competitively sensitive information with their competitors for five years,” the statement reads.