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Apple Said to Be Preparing Fight With U.S. Over E-Book Pricing

Apple Inc. and two publishers are preparing to fight the U.S. Justice Department in court if necessary over pricing agreements for digital books, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Apple, Pearson Plc’s Penguin Group, and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, want to protect the so-called agency model that lets publishers -- not vendors --set e-book prices, said the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly.