MacMillan settles with the DOJ, leaving Apple alone in DOJ suit

Macmillan settles with the DOJ: The Justice Department said Friday that it has reached a settlement with Holtzbrinck Publishers, which does business as Macmillan, in a case alleging that the company, Apple and four other publishers had engaged in price-fixing in the e-book market. That leaves Apple as the only company still fighting the allegations — Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Group and Simon & Schuster have all settled with Justice.

Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment on the matter. The case is scheduled to go to court this June.

Under the proposed Macmillan settlement, the publisher will lift restrictions it’s placed on e-book pricing and be barred from entering into most-favored nation agreement with any e-book platform.

HP offers labor guidelines to Chinese suppliers: Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, has issued guidelines to its Chinese suppliers regarding the use of student laborers in its supply line factories.

As the New York Times reported, the company will impose limits on student vocational labor, requiring that all work be voluntary. Some student laborers have complained that their schools force them to work at the factories for long hours with little pay, even if the work experience has nothing to do with the students’ tracks of study.

The move follows and expands upon efforts in the tech industry to address labor problems in China. Apple, particularly, has taken a lot of heat on the issue. The Cupertino, Calif., company conducts annual audits of its suppliers and was the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association.

Apple responds to Greenlight suit: Apple issued a statement late Thursday responding to a suit from investor David Einhorn and his Greenlight Capital firm. Einhorn says that Apple should pay back more of its $137 billion cash hoard to its stockholders and is rallying against a company proposal that he believes will eliminate the issuance of preferred stock.

Apple said that it welcomes Einhorn’s criticism, but clarified that shareholders would be able to approve the issuance of preferred stock.

Bush family, friend e-mails compromised: Photos and correspondence from half a dozen e-mail accounts linked to the Bush family, including information about Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, were published online after a hacker attack. The files posted included discussion of George H.W. Bush’s hospitalization and personal photos of the Bush family.

A family spokesman confirmed the attack to The Washington Post on Friday. The Post reported that the Secret Service is looking into the hacking.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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