Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lawsuit Against Apple Regarding Ebook Price Fixing

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.

1 comment:

Caris said...

Hi, Carol,
I've been watching this lawsuit as well because the house I'm with, MacMillan, elected to do battle with the DOJ. Apparently, the lawsuit is about 'collusion', as in, the DOJ believes they have proof that Apple and the other pub houses colluded to fix e-prices. The CEO of MacMillan assured his staff, authors alike through our editors, that he did no such thing and he's willing to go to court to prove that.

We'll see what happens.