Justice Dept settles e-book case with Macmillan

By By PETE YOST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has reached a proposed settlement with Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC, which does business as Macmillan, one of five major book publishers that allegedly conspired with Apple Inc. to raise e-book prices.

The government is continuing its case against Apple but has now reached agreements with the five publishers.

The government alleges the five companies and Apple worked together to raise retail e-book prices and eliminate price competition. The government says competition had reduced e-book prices and the retail profit margins of the booksellers.

The proposed settlement still needs approved by a federal judge in New York. It says Macmillan will lift restrictions on discounting and other promotions by e-book retailers. It will be barred from entering new agreements with similar restrictions until December 2014.

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