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Apple CEO Tim Cook May Testify in E-Books Antitrust Suit

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook may testify in the U.S. Justice Department’s lawsuit against the world’s biggest technology company over e-books pricing.

The U.S. sued Apple and a group of book publishers last year, claiming they conspired to raise prices for electronic books in violation of U.S. antitrust law. Cook’s possible testimony was disclosed today in a brief order by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, who is overseeing the case.

In a three-sentence order, Cote set a telephone conference for March 13 after the U.S. asked her in a letter on March 6 for “assistance in settling a discovery dispute” with Cupertino, California-based Apple over Cook’s deposition. The March 6 letter wasn’t part of the publicly available court file.

Apple is the only defendant remaining in the case. Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH’s Macmillan unit, CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson Plc’s Penguin unit and News Corp.’s HarperCollins settled with the government.

Tom Neumayr, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment on the order.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in Manhattan federal court at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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