The U.S. government is suing Apple and book publishers, accusing them of fixing the prices on e-books. When Apple set up its iBookstore to compete with Amazon’s Kindle, it got publishers to change their pricing model. Instead of selling e-books at a wholesale price and then letting Amazon decide how much it would sell the books for, publishers started dictating the price Amazon would sell, and only gave Amazon a 30% cut of the sale.
As part of the negotiations, Apple said that e-books couldn’t be sold for less anywhere outside of the iBookstore.
These negotiations are are at the heart of the U.S. case against Apple.
It’s somewhat amusing that for all of Apple’s power as the biggest company in the world, the government is harrassing it over something so small and insignificant to its business.