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U.S. Reaches Penguin E-Book Deal as It Pursues Apple Case

The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division said it will continue to litigate against Apple Inc. and another publisher for conspiring to raise prices of e-books after reaching a deal with Pearson Plc’s Penguin unit.

Penguin agreed to terminate agreements with Apple and other e-book retailers and will be prohibited from entering new agreements that limit retailers’ ability to offer discounts, the Justice Department said in an e-mailed statement.

The department is reviewing the proposed joint venture announced by Penguin and Random House Inc., the largest U.S. book publisher. The terms of Penguin’s settlement will also apply to that venture if it proceeds, the department said.

A trial against Apple and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan unit is scheduled to begin in June.

A proposed final judgment was filed in federal court in Manhattan. Penguin has “now agreed to settle on substantially the same terms as those contained in the original judgment, the U.S. said in a competitive impact statement filed in court.

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

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