Hachette, HarperCollins Pact Deserves Approval, U.S. Says

A U.S. antitrust settlement with e-book publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group and HarperCollins should be approved by a judge, lawyers for the federal government said in a court filing.

CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster, News Corp.’s HarperCollins and Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group previously agreed to settle a U.S. lawsuit alleging e-book price-fixing. Lawyers for the government today filed papers in Manhattan asking U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to sign off on the accord.

“Prompt entry of the proposed final judgment will benefit consumers,” lawyers with the Justice Department’s antitrust division said.

Under the settlement, the three companies agreed to cancel contracts with electronic-book sellers that allowed publishers to set prices. Claims by the U.S., 15 states and Puerto Rico are pending against Apple Inc. and other companies.

The case is U.S. v. Apple, 12-cv-02826, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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