Apple and four of the largest publishers settled in the matter of alleged ebook price-fixing with the European Union. The settlement announced by the EU looks exactly like the settlement Apple and three publishers signed with the U.S. Department of Justice this year and, when it goes into effect, should have a similar effect on ebook pricing in Europe.
Of course, the settlement won’t have an effect on ebook prices in countries in Europe where discounting of books is not allowed, like France. But observers should pay close attention to how pricing changes in England once the settlement is implemented. The English ebook market is more mature than others in Europe and represents significant opportunity for publishers.
If what happens there is anything like what happened here, retailers will waste no time discounting ebooks when they get the chance.
Read the settlement announcement here.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
New York Times to Publish Ebooks (DBW)
The New York Times is partnering with Byliner to publish ebooks. The Grey Lady, as the Times is known, is joining at least half-a-dozen other major newspaper companies to do the same as well as a host of other non-book-publishing media companies.
Ebook Sales Projections (Comicsbeat)
According to this projection, based on numbers from the Association of American Publishers and a methodology that reliably predicts patterns of all kinds, ebook revenue in the U.S. should top out at about $250 million a month by 2015. That’s $3 billion for the year. Right now, ebook sales in the U.S. are hovering just under $150 million a month.
Kindle Goes to China (Reuters)
The launch of the Kindle bookstore in China could be a precursor to the company selling its Kindle devices in the country. China’s e-reader market is currently dominated by local players.
Bertelsmann’s Liz Mohn on Random Penguin (Telegraph)
While authors and agents are dubious about the Random House-Penguin merger, the matriarch of the family that controls Random House-parent Bertelsmann says life will be better for them: “The planned combination will give authors from all genres even more publishing options for the success of their books.”
In Case You Missed It (JaneFriedman.com)
Porter Anderson’s recap of everything publishing in the week that was, Writing on the Ether.
Cengage’s New C-Level Exec (DBW)
Cengage Learning has a new chief sales and marketing officer, Kevin Stone. Stone comes to Cengage from Pearson, where he was chief sales officer of the higher education unit. The sales and marketing departments will be reorganized under him.
Another Advantage of Ebooks (PW)
No paper. And that means that there is no possible way you can source your paper for ebooks from rainforests under threat from loggers.
Another Advantage of Print (PW)
The way in which print sales are measured just got a lot better. Nielsen Bookscan has just added Walmart to its list of stores from which it will measure book sales, filling a noted gap in its offering.
Bookstores Hanging on (PW)
After a Sept. that saw sales plummet 8% versus last year, Oct. brought a bit of good news for bookstores, which saw sales rise 0.5%. The calm before the storm?
Book Tech Start-ups: Invest in Systems (Pub Perspectives)
Build the product before you worry about everything else. There was a movie about that, we think. (Oh, was this the movie you were thinking of?)
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