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Apple, leading US publishers, charged with collusion

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Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

(Read caption) On the day of the iPad launch, did Apple founder Steve Jobs already know that Amazon would be forced to raise prices on its e-books?

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Something fishy may be happening in the e-book world.

Apple, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group Inc., Simon & Schuster Inc., Macmillan Publishers, and HarperCollins Publishers have just been slapped with a class action anti-trust lawsuit.

The Hagens Berman law firm of northern California is bringing the suit and the plaintiffs – according to the Hagens Berman website – are Anthony Petru of California and Marcus Mathis of Mississippi.

Hagens Berman claims that Apple and the five publishers colluded to drive up e-book prices and eliminate Amazon's lead in the e-book market. Amazon previously sold e-books at $9.99, for less money than the physical books cost and often at a loss in order to drive up demand for e-books and thus, the Amazon Kindle.

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