E-book pricing under scrutiny

E-book pricing under scrutiny

Credit: AP

FILE - In this May 24, 2011 file photo, a product specialist holds up a new Nook during a news conference, in New York. The Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch has two advantages: it doesn't display advertising, and it can load books from other book stores, like Google. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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AP

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 8 at 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Has there been some funny business going on when it comes to the price of e-books? It's a question that the Justice Department is looking into along with the European Union and state attorneys general in the United States.

At issue is possible anti-competitive practices involving e-book sales. The EU's antitrust watchdog has already said it was investigating whether Apple helped five major publishing houses illegally raise prices for e-books when Apple launched its iPad tablet and iBookstore in 2010.

Word of the U.S.-based probe came from a Justice Department spokeswoman, who says a top official in the antitrust division confirmed the probe before a House Judiciary subcommittee.

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