The Department of Justice sues Apple for violating antitrust laws

by Rebecca Harrington

The Department of Justice is suing Apple Inc. and six major publishers in a civil antitrust lawsuit, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Apple and the publishers conspired to increase the price of e-books from $9.99 to $12.99 and $14.99, the DOJ alleged.

Attorney General Eric Holder said that the price increase greatly affected consumers. "As a result of this alleged conspiracy, we believe that consumers paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular titles," he said.

When scheming to increase the price of e-books, the DOJ alleged, the CEOs of Apple and the major publishers met in upscale New York restaurants, the Huffington Post reported.

Whether or not the DOJ can win the antitrust lawsuit is unknown. The Consumer Electronics Association said in a statement that the lawsuit was ridiculous, CNET reported.

"Our ambiguous antitrust laws are now being used to take on a new market entrant of just over two years as if they have the market power to set prices," the CEA statement said.

The DOJ, however, was certain that there was a conspiracy and that consumers need reimbursement for the e-books for which they overpaid.