Amazon: Settlement a 'big win' for Kindle users

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Although Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster agreed to the government's settlement, Apple and two other publishers, Macmillan and Penguin Group, are expected to fight the antitrust lawsuit in court. 

According to the Justice Department's complaint, the five publishers were unhappy that competition from Amazon was driving down the price of e-books. Amazon had set the price of all of its e-books at $9.99.

When Apple launched its iBookstore along with the release of its first iPad, the publishers agreed to give Apple 30 percent of the revenue from the e-books it sold. Additionally, they gave Apple the "most-favored nation" status, which guaranteed that no other retailer could sell an e-book for less than Apple.

The agreements drove up the price of e-books, including the ones in Amazon's Kindle Store, by about $2 to $3 per book, according to the Justice Department. 

The settlement requires the publishers to abandon their agreements with Apple and to allow other retailers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, to discount their books.