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The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, alleges Apple and the publishers reached an agreement where retail price competition would cease, retail e-books prices would increase significantly and Apple would be guarantee a 30% "commission" on each e-book sold.
A settlement involving some of the publishers is expected to be filed Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to discuss "a significant antitrust matter" at a press conference later Wednesday.
"Defendants' ongoing conspiracy and agreement have caused e-book consumers to pay tens of millions of dollars more for e-books than they otherwise would have paid," the lawsuit said.
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