The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has reportedly warned Apple and several publishers over possible collusion on the pricing of e-books.
Multiple media reports cite sources familiar with the matter in claiming the DOJ is pressuring Apple and a number of publishers to agree to augment their policies and reach a settlement in order to avoid a possible suit.
The case centres on changes Apple made in 2010 shortly before the release of its first iPad tablets.
At the time, Apple broke from the traditional book reseller model and instead opted to take a 30 per cent cut of retail sales, much like the company does with its iTunes and App Store retail services.
In doing so, the DOJ believes that Apple and publishers were able to collude on a plan to fix the price of e-book titles and push other services into adopting a similar model.
Apple faces a similar investigation in the EU. Much like the DOJ, the European Commission believes that in 2010 Apple and publishers joined forces in an effort to fix prices and coerce rival retailers into negotiating new deals.
News of the investigation comes just one day after Apple unveiled the new version of its iPad tablet. Due to arrive next week, the device will feature a high-resolution Retina display and support for 4G wireless broadband networks.
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