Penguin joins publishers settling with the DOJ over e-book prices

The US Department of Justice may have only reached settlements with three of the five major publishers it had sued for allegedly fixing e-book prices, but it's improving its track record through a new deal with Penguin. Like its peers, the firm has agreed to end any pacts that prevent it from lowering e-book prices, whether the arrangements are with Apple or any other store operator. While Penguin hasn't immediately commented on its change of heart, a company spokesperson made clear to The Guardian that an EU settlement was for "clearing the decks" ahead of a joint venture with Random House -- Penguin didn't want government scrutiny looming over its union. The truce leaves Macmillan as the last book giant still slated to go to court in the US, and it may not get much support when Apple was part of the European agreement.