A federal judge has approved a settlement between the Justice Department and three of the Big Five publishing houses over a price-fixing lawsuit. The decision allows Amazon to lower many e-book prices to $9.99, back to the level they were several years ago when it had nearly 90 percent of the market. In the antitrust case, the feds alleged that Apple colluded with the publishers to raise prices. Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins agreed to settle with the government, but Penguin, Macmillan, and Apple rejected it, setting the stage for a trial next year.
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