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Apple holds out on e-book pricing

Apple and two publishers are preparing to fight the US Justice Department in court if necessary over pricing agreements for digital books, according to two sources.

The sources said Apple, Pearson’s Penguin Group and Macmillan wanted to protect the so-called agency model that lets publishers – not vendors – set e-book prices.

The Justice Department is probing whether Apple’s interaction with publishers over pricing hampered competition in the market for electronic books.

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