Thomson Reuters:  “Apple Inc and five major book publishers have failed to persuade a U.S. judge to throw out a lawsuit by consumers accusing them of conspiring to raise electronic book pricestwo years ago.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York is related to government charges in April accusing Apple and publishers of colluding to break up’s low-cost dominance of the digital book market. HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Simon & Schuster Inc and Hachette Book Group reached settlements with the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division.

Apple and two of the publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, said in court last month that they want to go to trial to defend themselves against the government charges. The judge has scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for June 22.

The consumers’ main allegation is that the publishers worked together to raise prices and decrease retail competition with Apple coordinating the agreement among them.”