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Apple Facing a Price-Fixing Lawsuit

Apple is facing a class-action suit, which accuses the company with conspiring to jack up the prices on e-books. A law firm in Seattle is targeting Apple in part because of their dominance of tablet and smartphone sales, according to the managing director of the firm.

Apple is being accused of conspiring with five publishers, in an attempt to illegally fix prices. The publishers listed in the suit, which was filed Tuesday in United States District Court for the Northern District of California, are Penguin Group, MacMillan Publishers, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple worked with publishers to increase e-book prices, in part because publishers were worried that discounted pricing on would permanently set consumer expectations for a lower price, for any e-reader device. The suit claims Apple needed to neutralize the Kindle before it became too popular and posed a threat to the iPad, which Apple aims to advertise as e-reader capable.