Another Publisher Settles

Penguin has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve the issue of alleged ebook price-fixing in preparation for its merger with Random House.

The terms of the settlement are similar to those agreed to by Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. The Department of Justice will continue with its lawsuit against Apple and Macmillan, which have declined to settle.

According to a statement from Penguin, the company admits no wrongdoing but wanted to clear the slate for when it merges, as anticipated, with Random House.
“It is also in everyone’s interests that the proposed Penguin Random House company should begin life with a clean sheet of paper,” a Penguin spokesperson said.
One interesting wrinkle is that if the settlement is approved and so is the merger between Penguin and Random House, the new venture will be subject to the terms of the settlement.

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The rest of the day’s top news:
International Ebook Frontiers (DBW)
The next country a U.S. publisher should launch its ebook business? It’s not what you think.
Scared of Amazon in India (Times of India)
Indian bookstore owners are scared that the rise of e-reading and entrance of Amazon into the country will kill bookstores. It hasn’t happened yet in the U.S.
Amazon Opens New Front in Publishing (paidContent)
Amazon’s Brilliance audio division has launched Grand Harbor Press, a self-help and inspirational publishing unit that will publish both print books and ebooks.
Ebooks Can Unify Back-Lists of Prominent Authors (DBW)
It’s hard work getting all the ebook licenses for one authors works when that author was prolific and published with several houses. But if it can be done, the rewards are great.
Arthur C. Clarke Goes Digital for First Time (DBW)
The iconic science fiction author’s complete back-list will be made available for the first time as ebooks. For the challenges and rewards on this project, see blurb immediately above.
Ruckus 2.0 (DBW)
Responding to user feedback, Ruckus Media has launched the second generation of its children’s digital reading platform, the Ruckus Reader. More on the importance of platforms to the future of children’s digital publishing.

New Genre (Book Business)
HarperCollins is publishing its first “16-and-up” titles, targeting hot new genre of young adult books that also appeal to adults (e.g., The Hunger Games). The book happened also to be a self-published hit.
Learn more about this deal and others like it from the agent who sold the title to HarperCollins at a panel at Digital Book World.

Ebrary Adds More Foreign Language Publishers (DBW)
The ebook distribution start-up has added five German publishers and a Nordic collection.
Bookshout! Targets Entrepreneurs (DBW)
The controversial personal ebook library start-up has launched a book discovery library and social network for entrepreneurs. 
Amazon Sponsors Reviews (paidContent)
Amazon will sponsor the book reviews section of the UK’s The Guardian. The newspaper went to lengths to tell readers and observers that Amazon will have no influence on the content of the reviews.

Is Amazon Ripe for Disruption? (Forbes)
So says this article, though we’re dubious about the reasons given.

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Image Credit: Random Penguin logo as imaged by Marco Leone, a New York-based product designer at Raison Pure NYC.


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