I've been reading with interest about the Department of Justice's lawsuit against Apple and a number of other publishers for price fixing. The publishers involved are HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Apple, Penguin Group, MacMillan and Hachette Book Group. What is far more interesting is that three of the companies agreed to settle. Does that admit guilt? The Department of Justice doesn't go after anyone unless they have cause. Rumor is that they have a 90% success rate.
Apple, Penguin Group and Macmillan have not settled. Will they back down? Time will tell. Apple is speaking out, saying that their launch of the iBookstore in 2010 encouraged competition and broke down Amazon's monopoly on the publishing industry. The suit goes into more depth stating that as a result of Apple and the involved publishers teaming up, ebooks prices ranged around $12.99 and $14.99, instead of what they normally would have sold for $9.99
I have a friend who is an avid reader. She has a Nook and has complained to no end about the price of ebooks. She gets disgusted that some of the prices for her favorite authors are even more than the paperback version. She does have a valid point.
This is by far one of the most interesting times for the publishing industry. I'm sure by next year, the industry's future and the road to publication will have a completely different spin on it.