“The Justice Department could sue Apple Inc as early as Wednesday over alleged electronic book price-fixing, while settling with several publishers as early as this week, two people familiar with the matter said,” Diane Bartz and Poornima Gupta report for Reuters.

“The Justice Department is investigating alleged price-fixing by Apple and five major publishers: CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc; HarperCollins Publishers Inc; Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group; Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH,” Bartz and Gupta report. “A lawsuit against Apple, one of the parties not in negotiations over a potential settlement, could come as early as Wednesday but no final decision had been made, the people said.”

Bartz and Gupta report, “Talks between the Justice Department and some publishers had been proceeding, with settlements expected as soon as this week, one of the two sources familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity, because the discussions were not public.”

Read more in the full article here.

Sara Forden and Andy Fixmer report for Bloomberg, “Apple Inc. and the publisher Macmillan are preparing to be sued as soon as today by the U.S. Justice Department over alleged collusion in the pricing of e- books, according to two people familiar with the matter.”

“Apple and Macmillan, which have refused to engage in settlement talks with the Justice Department, deny they colluded to raise prices for digital books, the people said,” Forden and Fixmer report. “In an antitrust case, they will argue that pricing agreements between Apple and publishers enhanced competition in the e-book industry, which was dominated by Amazon.com Inc.”

Forden and Fixmer report, “CBS Corp. (CBS)’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group and News Corp. (NWSA)’s Hachette are seeking to avoid a costly legal battle and could reach a settlement as soon as today, two people familiar with the matter said… Pearson Plc (PSON)’s Penguin Group (PNGN) was also preparing to fight the U.S. Justice Department in court if necessary, two people familiar with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News April 5.”

“Apple, Penguin and Macmillan want to protect the so-called agency model that lets publishers — not vendors — set e-book prices, said the people on April 5, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly,” Forden and Fixmer report.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unlike the U.S. DOJ, Apple busted the Amazon eBook monopoly. The U.S. DOJ ought to be thanking Apple for doing their job, not suing them.

Furthermore, as per Amazon’s penchant for discounting: With their Cash Everest, Apple could give away X number or X amount worth of ebooks with every iPad sold for, oh, approximately 812 years or until Amazon ceases to: a) be able to sell eBooks, eBook readers, and tiny screen fake iPads; or, b) exist, whichever comes first. 😉

Related articles:
Apple, two publishers reluctant to agree to U.S. and EU settlement terms over e-Book pricing, say sources – April 5, 2012
Apple & the book cabal: Is there a settlement in sight? – March 12, 2012
U.S. DOJ warns Apple, publishers; threatens to sue, alleging collusion over e-book pricing – March 8, 2012
Class-action lawsuit alleges Apple, publishers engaged in ‘price-fixing conspiracy’ to punish Amazon – January 21, 2012
U.S. Justice Department confirms antitrust probe of Apple iBookstore, publishers, e-book industry – December 7, 2011
EU investigates Apple over ‘anti-competitive’ practices in e-book market – December 6, 2011