Earlier this month, reports suggested that the U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) was looking into filing a lawsuit against Apple and eBook published due to the “agency model” of pricing controlled by Apple leading up to the launch of its iBook store.
Reuters now reports that Apple and the DoJ are nearing a settlement deal that could occur within the next few weeks. The company is suspected of coming to a secret understanding with five major publishers to illegally increase the price of eBooks offered through its iBooks store. It has also been under investigation by the European Commission.
According to sources, while negotiations continue, Apple may agree to its so called “most favored nation” clause which blocked publishers from selling their books through other online stores like Amazon. One of the unnamed sources said that the upcoming deal could force Apple to use a “wholesale model”. This model would let retailers instead of publishers to control the pricing.
The publishers that are being investigated are Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins.