Justice Department preparing Apple iBooks antitrust lawsuit

The Justice Department is reportedly preparing to go after Apple, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins following its investigation into alleged e-book price-rigging. The case centers around a deal to switch to agency pricing, where the vendor takes a 30 percent cut of each sale, rather than the wholesale model that gives publishers more flexibility to reduce prices or even sell e-books at a loss. Some publishers are now trying to agree on a new policy in an effort to stave off the kind of federal suit that nobody wants to wear.