The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced that it had reached a settlement with one of the defendants in a potentially landmark antitrust lawsuit against five e-books publishers and Apple, the computer company. The DOJ said it had settled with Penguin, one of the five publishing companies it originally sued in April for alleged collusion and price-fixing, among other anticompetitive actions.
As part of the settlement, Penguin agrees to “terminate” its relationship with Apple and other e-books publishers and is blocked for the next two years from launching any new partnerships. Even if the major publishing company does decide to launch new agreements when it’s cleared to do so, it has to “provide advance notification” to the DOJ.
The DOJ had previously settled with three other publisher defendants — Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster — but is still going ahead with its lawsuit against Apple and another publishing company, Macmillan, scheduled to begin in June 2013.