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U.S. DOJ and EU Investigate Ebook Price Fixing by Apple

The US Department of Justice has announced that it has started an anti-trust probe against Apple and its partners for allegedly fixing the prices of ebooks.

The announcement comes as the European Union revealed that it is investigating the same matter. The Justice Department said it is working closely with the EU for the probe.

The regulators have reason to believe that Apple conspired with book publishers on its iBooks ebook platform.

The company, to get back at Amazon, which dominates the ebook market with the kindle reader and the Kindle ebook store, allowed publishers to set their own prices for the ebooks they offered.

Apple's move to attract publishers has led some of the biggest US and Europe based publishing houses to force Amazon to increase the prices of ebooks offered for Kindle.

"We are also investigating the electronic book industry, along with the European Commission and the states attorneys general," said Sharis Pozen, the Justice Department's acting antitrust chief, in a statement, as reported by NPR.

The EU said that it was investigating whether Apple and its partners fixed ebook prices to determine whether they "engaged in illegal agreements or practices."