Apple rejects e-book pricing collusion charge - WSJ

Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:38am BST

A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service in New York in this January 19, 2012, file photo. Apple Inc and several major publishers were accused by the U.S. government of conspiring to fix prices of e-books and limit retail price competition, according to a lawsuit filed on April 11, 2012. Picture taken January 19, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

A woman holds up an iPad with the iTunes U app after a news conference introducing a digital textbook service in New York in this January 19, 2012, file photo. Apple Inc and several major publishers were accused by the U.S. government of conspiring to fix prices of e-books and limit retail price competition, according to a lawsuit filed on April 11, 2012. Picture taken January 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/Files

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(Reuters) - Apple has rejected the U.S. Justice Department's allegations that it colluded with publishers over electronic book pricing, calling the charges "simply not true", the Wall Street Journal reported.

"The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Journal.

The U.S. government had sued Apple and five publishers, saying they conspired to fix the prices of electronic books, and reached a settlement with three of the publishers that could lead to cheaper e-books for consumers.

Kerris defended the current pricing structure as parallel to Apple's mobile software store.

"Just as we have allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore," she told the newspaper.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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