The US Department of Justice is sticking up for e-book readers, and has charged Apple with colluding with six top publishers to drive up the price of e-books.

The antitrust lawsuit says that shoppers have been paying too much for e-books - tens of millions of dollars too much.

If the US government success in the case against Apple, Hachette, HarperColllins, Macmillan, the Penguin Group and Simon and Schuster, the price you pay for e-books could plummet immediately.

Eric Holder, US General Attorney said: "Beginning in the summer in 2009 we allege that the executives at the highest level in the companies included in today's lawsuits, concerning that e-book sellers had reduced prices, worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling e-books, ultimately increasing prices for consumers."

Settlement has been reached with three of the accused, while the remaining three, including the $600 billion company Apple, are yet to have their case resolved.

Read the full 36-page complaint document here.

Read more about the Apple antitrust case here.