Last week, I reported that Apple and a number of other book publishers faced a lawsuit over collusion for e-book pricing. Yesterday, that lawsuit was made official by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to this article by The New York Times, the DOJ is suing Apple, alleging that the company lowered its e-book prices in the iBookstore in 2010 as a means to fight Amazon’s low pricing. Julie Bosman explains.
At the time, Apple with its blockbuster iPad was trying to challenge Amazon’s hold on the e-book market. Amazon, the online retail giant, had become a kind of Walmart for the e-book business by lowering the price of most new and best-selling e-books to $9.99 — a price meant to stimulate sales of its own e-reading device, the Kindle.
Publishers, looking for leverage against Amazon, saw Apple as their white knight.
Three of the publishers — Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins — that faced suits have already agreed to settlements. But the fight is far from over. Either way, the Justice Department is looking to ensure that e-book prices are lowered for everyone because “E-books are transforming our daily lives, and improving how information and content is shared. For the growing number of Americans who want to take advantage of this new technology, the Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that e-books are as affordable as possible.”
As the popularity and success of the e-book industry continues to grow, so do the prices of the books, according to a number of readers and more importantly, the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to this article by The Huffington Post, Apple and a number of other top publishers are facing a possible lawsuit regarding collusion, for allegedly raising e-book prices. In addition to Apple, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group and Macmillan also faces possible charges.
U.S. and European officials allege Apple and the others raised prices as a means to block rivals like Amazon from being able to offer cheaper books. The “agency model” that was in adopted in 2010 gives publishers the right to set their own e-book prices, giving Apple 30% of the cut. This model eliminated the “wholesale model,” which gave retailers the ability to set their own e-book prices.
And in addition to the new possible Apple is already under fire, dealing with a class-action lawsuit filed by consumers with similar allegations.
I personally haven’t noticed raised e-book prices, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some illegal collusion was going on behind the scenes. What do you guys think? Have you notices a price increase for e-books?
In this day and age, whenever there’s a big news story, it means a book or made-for-TV movie will inevitably come from it. So it’s a safe bet that controversial, national trials fall into that category. Such is the case with Amanda Knox. But for Casey Anthony, don’t hold your breath.
According to this article by Entertainment Weekly, no one wants to publish anything that Casey Anthony writes. The public generally feels sympathetic toward Amanda Knox, and wants to know more about what happened to her overseas. But most believe Casey Anthony got off a little too easy. And with that kind of target on your back, no one cares to hear what you have to say.
The EW article also points out what happened with O.J. Simpson — who found himself in a situation similar to that of Casey Anthony back in the 1990’s — when he wrote a book.
If I Did It, the failed 2007 book — brought to the public by notorious editor Judith Regan — in which O.J. Simpson gave a supposedly “hypothetical” account of his role in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. The book ignited a huge public outcry pre-publication, prompting the 400,000-copy initial printing to be scrapped by HarperCollins. (Soon after, Regan was unceremoniously dumped by the publishing house.)
Moral of the story: if people don’t like you, don’t bother writing a book about yourself.